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.