Saturday, March 26, 2011

MTC- Week 4

Our P-day did in fact get switched to Friday for my last week of the MTC. So you won't be hearing from me on Monday. We go out into the field (Missouri) on Wednesday (our flight leaves SLC at 9:50 AM I found. Also... I can call home at the airport. if you can, send me a written letter saying where and when to call you. it'll be short, but it'll be sweet, too!) and I have no idea when P-day is in the field. So... it might be over a week the next time you'll hear from me via email. So just be aware. I caught you all off guard so there weren;t any emaisl in my inbox except from Derek. But that's okay! I love Derek (please heal soon! I'm sad you've been so sick)! And I love all of you! I hope everything is going well. I think about you all all the time. How is Spring Break going? Are you ready to go back to school/work? How are things at home? What do you think about the MTC tour opportunity?  I've run out of questions... that is something they are drilling into us. Ask a LOT of questions. Because if we don't know what the person needs, we can't help them to our greatest potential. So... I'm practicing on you! :)
Speaking of which, I am officially in Visitor Center training! Monday night, we got together with our orginial district and our three teachers and had a testimony meeting. There were a lot of tears and the spirit was so strong. Brother Hopper shared a scripture for us all and guess what one it was... D&C 31. That's the scrippture that got me on my mission. Needless to say. it was powerful. Others shared stories that just moved you so deeply. Elder Killian didn't want to be at the MTC the first few days. he even called his parents and said he was coming home. After many prayers and a much needed inspired lesson by Sister Cook (another teacher), he stayed. He then received a letter from home the next week that a friend of his was going to be baptized. Another friend sent him a letter the week after and said he was coming back to church and even bringing a friend with him. How incredible. Elder Walpole shared a story that really shocked us all. He hadn't told anyone this... he took his endowments out January 28th... that same day his brother's life was taken in an autoboile accident. It has been 7 weeks today actually, and he's still on his mission, working hard, and keeping positive. So, the spirit is abundant here. It touches you deeply and you can feel the love of Christ enter into your heart. It's through that power, that grace, that my faith has been strengthened and how I know this mission will bring happiness to loved ones in my life and to myself. Christ is wonderful like that... he is truly the Master Teacher.
I made a comparison the other day. We wear Christ's name above our hearts and we are called to teach essentially. We all have different teaching styles. Christ and the Spirit teach everyone in their own unique ways... that is why we have been called to where we are; it will be our teaching style and testimony that will help someone else out in Missouri. It gives me hope and confidence that Christ really does know us as individuals and blesses us as such.
So... VC! It is only the original 4 sisters: Dodd, Larson, Jones, and Moore. Our teachers are Sisters Metzger (who looks EXACTLY like Gill. It's really eerie actually) and Murphy. Derek, Sis. Murphy said she was in the office a lot in Provo over the last year... myabe you remember her? She wasn't sure if she recongized "Elder Claridge". We found out that when we are working in the VC we are teaching solo. No companionship teaching for us! I guess because there are so many people to teach they split us up. A little scary, but we actually did a practice Teaching Appointment (TA) last night. 2 of the 4 "investigators" that I taught were students from BYU. Come to find out the girl has only been a member a year, and the boy is preparing for his own mission to leave in August. He has the greatest desire to serve, it was incredible listening to him talk about it. I shared my own "mission story" and why I decided to serve and he was just blow away. it's not that exciting, so he must be exciting about his own opportunity. ;)
I've come to realize something about the gospel. I have no idea if this will make sense, but as I constabntly think about the doctrine we are learning, some questions come to mind that test my faith. I find myself losing focus on Christ's Atonement and trying to logically make sense of it all. Then, the Spirit humbles me and shows  me that this gospel is all about families. Yes, everything in the church is basically an appendage to Christ's Atonement, but we do everything with our families. it's through the temples that we can be with our families forever. It's through living this gospel, the love of God, that we come to find happiness with the people we love. My testimony has grown of that. He are all God's family. That's the motivating factor for me to live this gospel, essentially. Take it as you wish.
As we teach and live faithfully, we are promised to have Christ with us always. D&C 84:88. THis gives us such comfort. As I've testified of before, we can't do anything on a mission with the Spirit. Also, as I was reading in Mosiah, I found a scripture that I found interesting. Mosiah 1:7 - If we search diligently, we can profit. However, if we keep the commandments of God, we will prosper. Cool eh? Also, I came across a fairly well-known scripture in Mosiah 2:7; it reminds me of Dad. It basically says, " When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God". Dad, you are an amazing exmaple to me and have always been so. You always put others before yourself and make sure their needs are taken care of before your own. I'm so grateful for you, Dad. If you get a chance, go look up that verse. Mom can show you where to find it. :)
My time has come to an end. I'm not sure when I'll be back on email like I said in the beginning, but send me snail mail! Love me! will be our best friend. Please know that I love you all and pray for you all every day and night. May God's spirit be with you always. Until next time!
Sister Moore
(forward to the usual. :) And the blog too, please! LOVE YOU)

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Week 3, MTC

Hello there!
Well, another crazy week. So much happens that it's so hard and write it out in 25 minutes. I will tell you this though: I'm going to send home my schedule - the thing that has controlled my life for the next 3 weeks so you can see what I'm doing. Also, I printed out a few pictures. I can't do them electronically here at the MTC, so I'll be sending out a few pictures home, to the Claridges, and possibly Rexburg.
I don't even know where to start. This pilot program is amazing. Sister Jones and I have taught almost 20 lessons in the last 3 weeks, not including practice lessons with our zone. It's going great! In the TRC (teaching resource center) they give us those actors... we make them cry almost everytime. The spirit will be there whether it is true or fake. The lessons generally go for about 45 minutes. One of our last investigators named George had us everywhere, I think we covered every principle of the gospel in 75 minutes.... needless to say, we were late to lunch.
Last Tuesday, the sisters and I were eating lunch and the MTC president, President Brown, sat with us. He was quizzing us on scriptures and I passed! I got to talking to him about home and my family and get this... Dad, Mom, listen up: he offered to give you a personal tour and host you if you wanted to come down and tour the MTC. He said he'd so it personally. Remember President Clark from BYU-Idaho? President Brown is the man in charge of the MTC. I have his cell number and address which I'll send to you via snail mail, but he told me if you guys were ever able to make it down to Provo in the next year or two that he would honor that promise. Want to see first hand where I've been and what missionaries do? Take advantage! I also met the counselors of the MTC presidency personally... what a rush! Such wonderful men. :)
The last district last week left and I miss them a lot... those 8 elders were some of my best friends. I need to write them.... pictures of them will be coming. it's amazing how close our zone has become. the new Elders are awesome, too. We have 3 different elders from South Africa.... and one is white. They are so funny!
I received my travel plans to Missouri. I fly out of SLC at 9 something in the morning on March 30th. Only 9 more days in the MTC
Last Wednesday, my district got to play New Missionary Host. I took time out of my busy schedule and hosted a new sister from Mapleton, UT named Sister Wise. She's awesome. What an experience, too. About 101 new sisters came in this week. Relief Society on sunday is so great (the entire population of sister missionaries meets together).
To answer you're question, I'm eating alright. I'm sitting to the salad and wrap bar and venture out to other things every once in a while. I am sick of the food though to be honest. I was sure spoiled at home! And we get an hour 4 times a week to exercise, so I run and do ab workouts. I'm not gaining weight, but I'm not really losing it, either. All we do is eat and sit at the MTC!
Things have been better. after many prayers and lots of fasting, I have become very comforted by the Lord. I am to exercise my faith and patience and the promised blessings will come. It was a bit rocky here at first, but I'm able to focus much better now. Learning a ton. Like a comment I made a few weeks ago... my notebook is full of awesome things, but I don't remember a thing until I go back and study it. To all you students out there.... keep taking tons of notes! They will save you!
So, on Wednesday the 4 sisters move up to another floor in the classroom building to start visitor center training! The 3 Elders in our district leave tomorrow... it's crazy. We'll stay in the same branch. Also, it I heard this correctly, I will have another P-day this friday as the VC training schedule changes everything for me. So... maybe hear from my friday, too?
I received the package from home... I'm actually wearing the green skirt now. it's so nice to have a little color! Thank you so much, Family! I love you so much! the dove chocolate was a nice touch. I would not be against Henry sending me cookies.... :)
I'm glad Kyle and Sam were able to have some girls of their own to spend time with! I miss those boys! And that's so wonderful about Brother Rice! Wow! Please give him my regards. I'm so excited for him. I remember my own baptism... how incredible. I got the seminary students' letter from Kimberly... oh my goodness that made my week! I was going around to all the districts in my zone bascailly bragging at how awesome those students are. Loved the pictures! thank you for doing that for me, Kimberly. :)
I think this is all I have... oh, just a note, I am able to see the pictures you send and I can print them out, but they are poor quality and black and white. If you were to print them and send them snail mail, I'd get to look at them whenever I wanted and now just on P-days. :) Just a thought!
One day in class, Brother Hopper (one of 3 teachers) bore to us his testimony about an investigator that through his and his companion's diligencve, was baptized. He then challenged us to think about the plane ride home in 17 months, and ask ourselves... how to you want to feel? How do you want to remember your mission? Will you have regrets? That brought me into some deep thought and pondering. I am going to work my hardest, find as many people as I can, study everything I have time for, and be that charitable young women that can help others. I only get one shot at this. I am so, so grateeful for everyone's support. I constantly get letters in the mail (which I love hearing about everyone's lives. Please don't think you bore me... I love it unconditionally!), and the emails from home and from non-blood family give me that extra motivation to keep my head in the game. I pray for you all every day, throughout the day. I think about how blessed our family is going to be as we strive to come together and serve each other in love. i know it's hard to absorb, but my being here on my mission, soon to leave for Missouri, will bring us closer together than ever thought possible. I know that. Heavenly Father has been good to me. I love you all so dearly. More updates to come, I'm sure, as I start this next new adventure in VC training! Until next time!
Sister Moore

Monday, March 14, 2011

MTC-Week 2

I finally figured out how to print your emails, read them, and then log back on to save time here on the email. The timer is really scary... But thank you all so much for your emails. I love hearing from you and knowing how loved I am. I cannot lie, it's hard being away without a really strong support system that's in front of me every hour, but I am doing well. The teaching is great. This pilot program has us teaching anywhere from 1-3 lessons a day, minus P-day and Sundays. We are teaching a ton and the experience really builds confidence. I've learned so much and now that I'm typing... it's all left my head. Great.
Well, I'll tell you what I do remember. The "oldest" district left last Tuesday and it was really sad, even only knowing them for 5 days. The next district is leaving tomorrow and these are 8 Elders that we got really close to in the last 1.5 weeks. 4 of them are going to Illinois, so I told them to look up Cacia and Robert, Angie and Chris. We took a ton of pictures of everyone on our Sunday temple walk and I'm not sure how to do it electronically here at the MTC without wasting time so I'll get those printed out and sent your way here soon. They are crazy though. It's great just having someone to learn with and from. During one of our zone studies, we had Week 3 teach week 2 (I'm week 2) and vice versa. We got a 20 minute lesson, 20 minutes to prepare, and then go back for another 20 minute lessons. My investigator committed to be baptized! Woo! That's something that I'm learning here that was different when I was investigating this church. I thought baptism was the "hit or miss" of it all. If you commit to being baptized, you're golden, and you don't have to do much afterwards. Now, once we teach and have the people find out for themselves if this is true and something they want to continue with, we invite them to come unto Christ to be baptized in His name, and then there are more critical things to come afterwards. I thought the Elders knew everything... now that I'm in this position, I realized that they were very good actors. This is hard. It's hard to be in tune with the Spirit constantly. I pray so often, because I have to. We can't do anything correctly without having the Spirit here with us. I've tried both ways. I am nothing without the Holy Ghost.
Last week during the Tuesday devotional, we had ... someone.... speak. At the end of his talk, he told a story of a missionary who was having a really hard time in the field. he wanted to go home because he didn't believe he could do this work. The mission president said go back to the apartment and talk to me Sunday. The president prayed continually for guaidance on what he should do about this Elder. He felt he had received nothing. When that day came, the mission president and the missionary sat down, knee to knee, and stared at each other for 15 minutes without a word being uttered. Finally, the mission president decided he had to say something. he didn't know what. He didn't want this missionary to go home, for he knew of the blessings he would receive by working out here in the field and the people that were waiting to see him and have him teach them. The mission president leans forward, puts his hand on the Elder's shoulder, and says "Elder, I promise you that if you stay out here, you will conquer the 7-headed dragon".
He continued to share with us how we had no idea where that came from. He knew absolutely nothing of a 7-headed dragon. His mind was unsure of what his mouth said. Suddenly, the Elder starts weeping. he reaches into his jacket and pulls out a notecard. Drawn on this notecard was a 7-headed dragon. Before his mission, he and his stake president went over the 7 fears this elder had and was trying to overcome.
The mission president had no idea. But the lessons here is the spirit will help us in our moment of need. We need to just be faithful and believe in Christ.
I'm learning a ton out here. I can't even begin to write out everything that is happening. I've been writing in my journal of the really important things so hopefully when I get home (17 months! ha!) I can go back and compare these two records and share all my experiences with you all in full.

Yeah, angels walk the halls here. Casey was right. I have been meeting so many incredible people. I found Jessica Black (old roommate), Kimberly Romrell (really old roommate), Robin Char (a young man from my ward last semester), Mitchell Garey (who you wouldn't know, but he was in my I-Team group a couple semesters ago), Whitney's cousin, Elizabeth, and I'm sure there are more... but those are the ones that keep reappearing.
I received a letter from Grandma Claridge. Please, someone thank her for me! There wasn't a return address for her to write to. If you want to forward this to her, I'm fine with that! Mam-ma Jo, too.
I look forward to any letters that come my way. It helps lift me up, especially since I get along better with the Elders than with the Sisters. I'm not much of a girl sometimes... ha.
Well, my time has come to an end. Yes, Mom please post this on my blog. And Dad, expect a hand written letter from me soon. I have more things to tell you but I don't have time to write an email today. And Henry, if I come home and you have broken bones, I will not be happy. Understood? I'm glad Sam gets to experience that bed. It was good to me while I was there. Oh and hey! Say hi to the seminary students for me! I was thinking about them and miss them. Maybe one Friday you could have them write me letters... eh? I did receive a letter from Heather from Germany. How cool!
Well, maybe when I'm not so rushed I'll send off another snail mail letter. My mind goes blank when I see that annoying red timer in the corner. 1;20 left...
I really want to bear my testimony of why I'm here and about this restored gospel,. but instead I'm going to leave you with this. I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet and through him the restored true gospel from God was restored. I love you all and I hope to hear from you soon!
Sister Moore

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Week 1; MTC

 I made it! I met the Elders at the curb and they got me into my residence hall. It's almost exactly like a college dorm room. There are 4 of us girls in the room. one is my companion, Sister Jones, from Mesa, AZ. She's a spiritual giant and beautiful inside and out. We are growing and learning together, and that includes becoming frustrated with ourselves. Did anyone ever mention how hard this is?! But even just the slightest desire always remains and starts to burn within me whenever an investigator even just asks a question. AMAZING.
And actually, we just moved into a different residence hall this morning because the first building is being reconstructed... or destroyed... I don't remember. it's nice. The same. The other two sisters in the room are also going to Missouri Independence and are Sisters Larson and Dood (not pronounced Dude). Sister Dood actually knows the Huppi's! The four of us and 3 other Elders whowill be going to Phoenix,AZ make up our district. Our zone has 2 other districts and we are all so close already. The Elders are hilarious. The "oldest" district actually leaves today and tomorrow and it's really sad. One of the Elders gave me his email to write him... haha! I love my new missionry friends.
So yeah! Our schedule is crazy hectic, too. Every minute of the day is planned out and we are expected to follow the schedule to exactness. And I'm able to do so, because I know that if I do, I will reap the rewards of the spirit and be able to become a more effective missionary. We spend a lot of time in the classroom, too. it's a small white room with a bunch of chairs and a board. We have 3 differetn teachers and two of those teachers act as investigators which we will be teaching throughout our stay here at the MTC. So, I received an email from Derek saying something about MDT. Well, we don't have that! Get this: out of all the districts here on campus, mine and a few others have been selected to be apart of this "pilot program". I'm not sure of the details of it, but we will be teaching a total of 22 lessons in the 3 weeks here. The last week I believe will be for the visitor's center training, but as that gets closer I'll have more information.
I'm definitely being humbled. I came into this thinking I knew a decent amount to get started, but as we started the learning the lessons, I realized I don't know anything! Nothing was connecting with what I already had in my brain and in my heart, and I became very frustrated with myself. I wrote to my Branch President (Pres. Myers, who is amazing) about it and talked to him. he helped a lot. I am my perky self again and smiling and laughing at the Elders and everything in between. That was about day 3... it's day 6 now. We had a testimony meeting as it was fast sunday here. Fasting two weeks in a row! Luckiest girl, right here! The testimonies of my zone are just unbelievable. The spirit here doesn't mean match anywhere near anywhere else (except the temple, of course). It even trumphs BYU-I. But know that as far as the classroom is going, I am not as overwhelmed as I thought I'd be and progressing ever so slowly as the Lord sees fit.
Also, I've decided that mail is the best thing ever. I know, really cliche MTC thing, but it's true. Written letters are always LOVED. And just so we're all aware, I am only allowed to write any kind of letter home, email or paper, on P-Days, which will be Monday while I'm here in the MTC. Others can email me, but I will only respond to Mom, Dad, and henry, because I truly am in need of these blessings from the Lord. I trust that He will take care of me as long as I do my part. One of these days, I'm going to sit down and write out exactly what I've learned, but I'll leave you with this for now: The Atonement of Christ is the center, the heart, of everything we do within this church. This church is simply an organization in order to bring God's will to the people here on earth, which is this gospel that is taught. I urge you to know this for yourself. Read the Book of Mormon, ask questions to the missionaries (make 'em work!), pray to God and he will answer. He lvoes us all, which is why he sent His son, to take away all of our sadness and sorrows. Any of them. All we are asked to do is turn to Him, Heavenly Father.
I love you. I think about you often, but I am glad I am here. I am as focused as I can be and I will continue to become more so as I heed the promptings of the Holy Ghost and more deeply understand this gospel of Jesus Christ. Until next week.
Sister Moore
(sorry for the typos... difficult keyboard.)