Monday, November 26, 2012

Another week gone in my service to the Lord, and with every passing week a little more of me realizes that, one day, this whole adventure that we call a mission ends... 

I can't believe that my buddy Neal is home already! Seems like yesterday we were at Jacob Lake messing around and now he is a returned missionary!! It's so cool, and a little mysterious, how time works! :)

Well, this week was ultimately a sad and challenging one, but still, like every other week, had it's moments of happiness. Unfortunately, we had another two Elders go home this week before their "tithing" to the Lord was paid in full. It was very sad because one of those who went home is my grandson... He is a great guy and a great missionary, but he had some medical problems like a lot of other people do and had to go home. After you take your first couple people to the airport, you know who really wanted to serve a mission and who was just out here to please others at home with the idea of them being on a mission. The good ones are the ones who silently shed a tear and encourage you as their last wish as a missionary to go forth and preach the good word to as many as possible in these sweet, short, wonderful two years that we have. The others laugh, joke, and simply don't seem to mind the fact that they are being taken out of the mission. 

The happiness came when, on Monday evening, I had the chance to have a talk with my GREAT grandson! Elder Jensen. He is a great guy (this is still his first transfer on the mission), and we got to have a nice little conversation while he was in the office. I learned all about him, what he wants to do after the mission (like any of us have a clue anyway...), and how much he loves his family. I've decided here that I really like meeting people for the first time because it gives you the chance to make them like you from the very start and it if you both like each other from the start, you'll have a better relationship in the end! :)

I am reminded of a talk by Jeffery R. Holland (surprise surprise) that he gave about missionaries in a recent address in General Conference basically pleading each and every one of us who is able and worthy to serve a full time mission by this quote... "So I am looking tonight for missionaries who will not voluntarily bind their tongues but will, with the Spirit of the Lord and the power of their priesthood, open their mouths and speak miracles. Such speech, the early brethren taught, would be the means by which faith’s “mightiest works have been, and will be, performed."

He continues on to talk about those who want to serve, but, much to their despair and displeasure, are not able... "We also recognize that there are some who have hoped all their lives to serve missions, but for health reasons or other impediments beyond their control, they cannot do so. We publicly and proudly salute this group. We know of your desires, and we applaud your devotion. You have our love and our admiration. You are “on the team” and you always will be, even as you are honorably excused from full-time service." I too would like to add to this wonderful mans remarks and thank all of you who have served and continue to stay faithful in the one true church of God. Also a shout out to those who have gone out on missions, but have had to be "medically discharged". I love you and thank you so much for your service as I continue in mine. 

Which brings me to the next point for this email...

I want to say this to any and all out there reading... Serving a full time mission IS NOT EASY. It is NOT for the faint of heart and requires more work, emotion, and stamina than you've ever put in to anything else you've ever done in your life. It's not all fun and games. It's hard work, long hours, with very little money. So why do so many young men and women PAY to do it? Because of the conviction we have in our hearts that tells us that it is right. Because of the happiness we feel to be a part of the Church of Jesus Christ and the responsibility we know we have of spreading it to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. Oh yeah, and the enormous blessings that we receive are a pretty big incentive too!!!

I have no regrets about my decision to serve a mission. Not a single one. I honestly believe that it is the single most smartest thing that I've ever done in my life. I've learned marvelous, even priceless, things that I could have ever learned from 2 years at any college and what is even better is that my journey isn't over yet!!! I still have 6 months to do as much as possible and I intend to do just that. 

I love this gospel and hope with all of my heart that the world comes to know of the things that I know and see even half of the miracles that I've seen in my short life. It is my testimony that this is the one and only true church of Jesus Christ and that is it only though the principles and ordinances that we preform with the holy priesthood of God that we will be able to live with our Heavenly Father and families until the end of forever in a state of complete bliss and happiness. Show me someone who says that they don't want that, and I'll show you someone who will have regrets for eternity. 

Love you all. Be safe and continue this good work at home,

- Elder Moore

PS - My regards to the Morris family. It's not easy to lose the ones that we love and are so dear to us, but with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and time, it becomes a little more bearable. The world lost a wonderful daughter of our Heavenly Father, but it would do us all good to remember that it is not forever.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Well, it's been a while since I've written a long letter... so I thought I'd make up for it now! :) 

This past little while has been pretty rushed and very busy, but I feel that I am nearing the end of my "office missionary" experience! I'll either start training the new Secretary here at the very beginning of December, or the middle of January. Crazy to think that there's only about a month and a half until the year is over and it's 2013! I don't feel like I should be this old! 

Well, once again we had some weird situations that happened here in the mission and a missionary actually ended up getting transferred from out mission to another mission in Brasil because of it! I can't give names or locations, but I can tell you that it was really scary and confusing for a couple days! Good thing we have a great Presidente and a great Area Presidency that helped us out a ton. 

Happy birthday to Tommy (10th) Dad (13th) Elder VenĂ¢ncio!!!!! (13th and only 2 years younger than tommy :P) Bailey (17th - I can NOT believe that she'll be 3 already!!!!!!!!), and David (20th)!!!!!!!!!!! I love and miss you all so much! Yes, my comps birthday is the same as Dads! So when I celebrate with him, I'll think of you, Dad! :) Love you! But a happy happy birthday to everyone and if you're lucky I'll get you presents next year when I'm home :P. 

Today at church we (my comp and I) had the opportunity to be invited by the primary (a total of about 5 kids) to talk a little bit about missionary work and what they can do now to become future missionaries :). It made me think about my days in the primary and how much I actually learned there. I remember in dallas where i spent most of my primary days and I remember learning things that I've carried with me throughout my entire life (including some pictures and the quad that I still use today). The Church is perfect and I'm so grateful that we have the chance to learn this when we are young. There are many things that we can teach out children when they are young that will not just help them more reverent in church, but much more successful in life itself. Through completing the "Faith in Christ" (I don't know if they still have that) they will learn valuable skills in memorization and learn how to study and work hard. All of which are wonderful things that will greatly benefit them throughout their lives. 

We are working very hard here and I am really feeling, as I start the downward slope of my mission, that my Heavenly Father is pleased with me as His servant. I still have much more to do, but I'm so very proud of this mission and I take great pride in being called to serve here in the Brazil Recife Mission. The best mission in the world. I see missionaries come home and look lost at first, and then always start a story with "well, when I was on my mission....." I am so grateful to have had these experiences that I will share with people about my personal growth for the rest of forever (even though I do fine the "when i was on my mission" part a tad annoying and will be limiting those quotes). I have grown in more ways than I thought possible here and have made a home away from home that I plan on keeping. The people here really are the best, and one of the hardest things for me here on the mission in the hugging rule. It's just part of the culture here for women to great each other with a hug and a kiss on the cheek and men the same (with women.... men don't greet each other in this manner unless they are a little limp in the wrist....). More frequently than not, when making a contact, if it be a women she will usually go in for the hug when leaving and then we have to go through the routine of saying "no I'm a missionary I can't blah blah blah..", but it's really hard with the members because in my ward right now I love all of them so much! The older women look at us like their sons and just love the missionaries so much! It's hard not to hug them after a wonderful lunch and bonding with their family, but it's part of the job I guess! 

Well, to finish up, I love you all so very much. I am doing well. Very well. I am loving life and am just now beginning to realize how big of a blessing it is to serve a mission. You learn things that you never could by just going to college. It's amazing to have these two years to take yourself out of the world, because when you are with family and friends, it's just that much harder to take yourself away from everything and lose yourself..... in the service of the Lord.

With much love, 

Elder Moore