Monday, April 25, 2011
I have almost been out 2 months already. Can you believe it?!
As we did our laundry this morning, it thundered just once but the entire world shook. The power is just amazing! I love storms. And the rain of course feels like home.
This week was different. We had meeting after meeting and not a ton of time to proselyte. Whether it was district meeting, early morning training meeting, the history trip (which I'll have things to share about... t'was wonderful), exchanges (twice for me this week with different sisters) or Sunday meetings, we just kept going and going. I really feel like I wrote you yesterday or something. We did end up going to the zoo after I emailed home last P-day. That was fun. We went to Africa!
I also find the longer I am out here, the less and less inspired I am to write out my soul... Because I live it everyday! I will write this little personal diddy and then I'll get into the work. As a missionary, especially here in Independence, there are so many different views of religion you couldn't count them. We have people come up to us (gotta love the tag) and constantly tell us what we believe. Everytime it's different. I find it humorous actually, but it's also sad because they didn't let Heavenly Father teach them about what the LDS religion truly has to offer: the Fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through the correct sources. I will testify again and again that we as humans would be lost without a prophet called of God and the Priesthood power within this church. That's something I've been studying. Priesthood, and faith. Never lose faith. Never think your faith is enough. I have been studying Alma 32:
What is faith? We see in Alma 32:21 that it is a hope for things not seen, which are true. It is not a perfect knowledge, but a belief. We are not intended to know everything with a perfect knowledge. For if we did, what purpose would there be in having faith in Christ and our Father in heaven? There is a reason that faith is the first principle of the gospel. There would be no progress if we don't have faith. And progression is necessary. If we aren't moving forward, we are slipping backwards. The fact is, we will never understand everything here. We were not intended to. Without faith, we can't understand the love out Father in Heaven has for us. Always have that belief. And, it can be grown. In Alma 32, it tells that all you need is a desire and then to nourish it. I sugguest studying that chapter sometime.
This week I also was able to have my testimony strengthened in the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ, and the power it has in our personal application. Being able to understand how Christ's sacrifice affects us directly and being able to apply it to our lives is the greatest act of love and mercy in all of history. I love my Lord and Savior. It is through him that I can start to understand the love Heavenly Father has for His children. All we have to do is take that first step.
Anyway, that was my theme for the week.
We have a couple new investigators! The wife works with a young man about to leave on his mission to Peru and she just loves him and his example. He brought her to church, to the VC, and now she and her husband are meeting with us. They are the nicest people, too. Sharon's baptism is this Saturday - it will be my first as a missionary. We just love Sharon and are so excited for her. She's asked us to speak, so I'll be speaking at my first baptism, too. Ha! Love it! Unfortuantely, our other baptisms fell through. That's alright though. It may just not be time and when they are ready, we'll be here, prepared and willing to continue forward.
We have a wonderful member dinner tonight. We were going to have a bonfire with tinfoil dinners (Oh Mossyrock) but since it's seems that Noah's Ark may be needed again here in Independence we may stay indoors. We have an awesome object lesson for all the kids about the importance of prayer. I'm so excited!
I'm sending a few pictures home. All of the VC sisters that haven't been on the [every 6 months] history tour got to go to Liberty Jail, Far West, and Adam-ondi-ahman on Friday. That was so much fun! Here are a few pictures from that adventure. The first picture is of all the sisters in front of the historic Liberty Jail. Next, a picture of me and Joseph Smith right outside of Far West. Next, a picture of the group overlooking Adam-ondi-Ahman. And lastly, the group at the bed & breakfast where we ate lunch. Such an amazing place. The owners of the B&B (marydale.com I think...) are LDS and actually were Sister Browning's Mom's Mission President in Peru a number of years ago. Cool, eh? I'm not going to send a billion pictures like a couple weeks ago, but in the box I'm sending out I will have my jump drive in there with 500ish pictures. Dad, if you would be so kind, please save them on your computer, clear the drive, and send it back to me. No rush, my card holds a ton of pictures, but this way you all can see my life the past 8 weeks or so. There are some random ones... I apologize in advance. :)
No big plans today for P-day... just writing snail mail letters! I have so many to resposne to... Please forgive me friends. I do love and cherish you, I just never have time for myself/you. My life is devoted to my Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ. You're all in my prayers!
I love you. Moroni 9:26.
Sister Vicki Moore
Shall we not go on in so great a cause?
Posted by Sister Moore at 9:28 PM
Monday, April 18, 2011
Dearest Family and Friends,
It's true! I feel like I just wrote to you. Or rather, sent you a billion pictures. This last week has been great. Let me update you on what I've been up to!
First off, Thank you to everyone that was in my inbox this morning. I can't tell you how much I love hearing from everyone. It's really true... you all just motivate me to keep going. Ask anyone out here.
Last week in church, one of the gospel principles' teachers invited us to do our laundry at their house to save money. My first P-day we had to go to a laundry mat... it was a nice laundry mat, actually. We ended up doing the same today and my clothes are there as we speak. They are the Mansfield's family. Brother Mansfield joined the church after years in a Baptist upbringing in 2005. He is one of the strongest members in this ward and his wife is just amazing. They work so hard with the little they have and bless so many lives around them. You will usually find us there on Mondays! He printed out his conversation story for me and I'm sending it home to Mom and Dad. It's kind of cool. He burns all sorts of DVDs and such for the misisonaries. They are a home away from home! They are one couple that you all will have to meet someday. Another family in the ward invited us to go to the zoo in Kansas City, so that's where we're headed after emailing. I'm sure there will be lots of pictures from that!
Sharon committed to baptism!! And she was my first baptismal invitation! Woo! I wrote about Phil last week too, I believe. He has disappeared... a lot of our investigators do that. Satan is working on them... there is a homeless man named Mike who all the sisters really enjoy. He lost everything because of a misunderstanding years ago and is just now trying to get back on his feet. He spends a lot of time in the VC. The story behind him was Sister Browning and her past companions have been teaching him for a while and he's had I think 3 different baptismal dates, but everytime he disappears. First it was because his mother sent the cops out to look for him... he's a 58 year old man... and his mother lives in Florida. Moms will be moms! The second time he got put in jail for soliciting illegally. That was a dumb story. And now his third date is the 30 April. He had committed to coming to church yesterday and never showed (we also have no way to contact him. No phone, no home). Later at the VC he showed up and said he wasn't feeling well. We're trying to get him to understand the importance of the commitments and why we do them. It's a sticky situation though. As far as Phil goes, he has a phone, but in a week he hasn't gotten back to us. We'd call every day. So... either he's sick of us or something. BUT! We will not let Sharon disappear! She's so golden. Her date is also 30 April. Hey mom... does that date sound familiar? :) As soon as she picked that for her date, I exclaimed, "Oh! That was my mom's baptism date!!" She's way excited to share that date with you. We just love her. She's married, in her late 20's and has a 4 year old son named Ethan. At first Ethan was very uncomfortable being at church, but we had an awesome inspired member team up with a 4 year old son and the boys are good friends now. Sharon actually got to sit through all of church! I'm not letting this one drop... no way. We have quite a few other investigators. We're teaching a man named Doug who works at and attends the Community of Church church. But he's very interested in the LDS temples and really loves the Word of Wisdom. The spirit is in his heart...we're just trying to help him recognize it.
So, the work is good. The VC is starting to pick up. Small world story! So, I made really good friends with a lot of Elders in my zone back at the MTC. Elder Larsen was one of them. I was giving a tour to a cute family and they said they were waiting for some friends to join them. Half way through the tour the family came and introduced themselves as the Larsen family. No connection made yet. The original family had small kids so we went to the part of the VC that has a play place (really neat, I'll try and send a picture eventually). I got to talking with the father. He was born in Portland and lived in the Salem area growing up. Awesome. One thing led to another and he said he had a son that just left on a mission to Riverside California. With the name lost somewhere in my mind, I replied, "Oh that's awesome! In my zone at the MTC a few Elders went there". "When was that?" the father asked. "About 2 weeks before I left... what was his name?" I was starting to catch on, Ha! I totally met this Elder's family. They are from St. George and the father was out in Kansas City area for work. How neat!! But yes, Sundays, Sister Browning and I are in the VC for the last 3 hours of the day. We reported for shift and didn't sit down until we prayed after 9 pm. That's different for me. It had been slow but I'm really pushed to study my history because sooner or later all of the summer bus tours and vacationing families are going to show up. I can tell you a lot now, though. :) When I was first called to Independence I thought the Lord has a real sense of humor since I really never liked history. I'm growing to love it... at least in the church history. I'll leave the rest of it to Derek and his bachelor degree. Ha! :)
Last Thursday, we had my first zone conference. We attended the Kansas City Zone and not our own (Independence) because they need to split the VC sisters. This was President and Sister Van Komen's last zone conference since they leave in 2 months. I cried at the thought of them leaving. That's how close this mission is. Elder Lesuma, one of the AP's, taught an awesome lesson on Ether 12:27. Now, I've always used this and have been told by several people to never forget it. I don't, but through Elder Lesuma's words, the spirit taught me another meaning of the verse. At the time, I was really confused inside. I go through this cycle or something where my love for the gospel isn't burning as bright as it should. I had prayed the night before for an understanding, because it was starting to worry me. I couldn't figure out how Satan was getting the better of me for such a length of time when I was doing everything I needed to. The way he explained it to me was this: It says to be humble, and as we do so Christ will show us our weaknesses, so that we can be made strong in them. Now, here's what the "I got it!" moment was for me: When we feel weak, that means we are becoming closer to Christ. A lightblub exploded and my heart was burning - I realized that I was indeed doing everything right and to not fret about it. I was simply becoming closer to Christ.
With that experience as the first hour of the 8 hour conference, I was on a spiritual high all day. I can't really tell you everything else that happened because I don't have my notebook in front of me, but I did get an opportunity to bear my testimony at my first zone conference last week. I received a lot of support and love from the fellow missionaries. President Van Komen made a comment to me that it seems I've been out on my mission for at least 6 months already instead of 1.5. It's that love and support that keeps me going. It makes me realize that this is where I'm supposed to be for this short amount of time. So, no need to worry about me at home. I'm working hard, getting the support I need whether it be here in Missouri, in my inbox, or in my mailbox, and growing into a better version of myself everyday. I owe it all to Christ. I can't even fathom how much Christ has given to me. His Atonement truly is real and able to be lived everyday. It needs to be. Otherwise, we lose precious moments. Please remember that.
The other day it was cold, overcast, and misting rain. I had never felt more at home. While everyone else was unhappy about it, I just soaked it all up. No pun intended.... maybe. :) One thing I love about giving tours is seeing where people come from and why they're here. Sort of like how I love airports for the same reason. I also get to share where I'm from and bring a little bit of the sunshine in my life to Missouri. Even if I'm white... haha. We were walking out of the VC this morning (there's a new version of the Joseph Smith movie at the VC, intended more for investigators. It has a lot more detail and history. We watched that this morning) and the sisters and I were loving not having to wear nylons on P-day (oh, Mom, P-day stands for Preparation day. I never answered you last week!). But, sadly, I am the whitest thing since sliced bread. Nevertheless, I love being FREE! :)
Ask any one of the sisters. All weekend I've been freaking out yelling and hoping how much I wanted her to write to me today and tell me her mission call. WE ARE GOING TO BE NEIGHBORS!!! You're just south of my mission, I think! I'M SO EXCITED FOR YOU! I'm going to snail mail you your responses, by the way. The MTC felt just like school to me. I didn't really "feel like a missionary" until I got into the field. You will love it. The people you meet, the spirit you feel, everything about it. Oh, I just love you. I miss you like crazy! And all the sisters of the Independence Visitor's Center say congratulations! :)
I'm excited for my boxes... :) We stopped into the mission office today (right next door to the VC. Ok... a block or two) and Larry the mailman was delivering a billion and one boxes for the mission. I can't wait until my name appears on one of those! But don't you worry, I am patient. I've been waiting for a hand written letter from Derek since the second week of the MTC. But he tells me it's growing, so once it gets here it will be worth the wait, I'm sure. Funny how that gospel principle applies to every aspect of life. :) Whenever I get a chance, I'm sending home a box, too. Sadly, all the really cute skirts Mom sent me out are too bold for the VC here. Also, I'm playing tourist and sending home and to the Claridge's a bunch of things we hand out to the guests at the VC. You can get an idea of it all this way, I think. Also, I got a couple DVDs and will be sending them home. I want them for after my mission, but I would encourage and invite you to watch them and play with them, Family!
This morning we wope up before 6am and kidnapped a sister and her companion. It was her birthday! We "broke into" their apartment, blindfolded Sister Stevens, led her to the car, drove around, parked across the street, led her *blindfolded* across the street into the church, and there she was met by 15 sisters and about 8 elders. It was a wonderful way to start off the day. The sisters go all out for birthdays around here. I just love it. I can't get enough!
We have exchanges tomorrow. Because Sister Browning is the VC Leader, I have 1-2 exchanges every week. Talk about crazy. This will be the first exchange when I stay in my own area, though. I'll sort of be flying solo! AHH! It'll be great, I'm sure. Just put me to work. Work and service cure everything.
Well, I'm out of stories to tell you. To wrap it all up, everything is grand. We have our bumps and bruises but we tackle them with 100% of heart. Thank you, everyone again, for your love and support to me, my companion, and my mission. The Missouri Independence mission is truly the only mission with a future! ;)
I love you.
Sister Vicki Moore
(can you keep up with all my signatures? ha!)
Shall we not go on in so great a cause?
Posted by Sister Moore at 5:49 PM
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Alrightly! Here are the rest of the pictures.
Feels like Christmas, huh? Mom, I'd really love if you were able to put these pictures either on facebook, but more specially my blog along with this letter. I would love to put them on the blog so people can see what I'm doing as I talk about everything. I have faith in you to figure it out, but I know if there's an issue, Chelsie said she'd be more than happy to help you if you want to give her a call or facebook her. I actually sent a picture home in the part 2 email from the MTC of me and her boy, Dusty. I found him and documented it. So I know she'd love to see that. :)
Anyway, I can try and explain some of these pictures. On the way back from the airport, President and Sister Van Komen took Sister Jones and I to the temple in Shoal Creek, the Kansas City Temple. It will be open sometime next year, most likely spring. The ones with the red sun was our awakening the other day. The sunrise, not the sunset. We were eating breakfast and that was our view from our apartment. The sky here is amazing, just like Idaho. The weather is crazy, though. We had another thunder and lightning storm with that awesome rain. The temp goes up and down, too. It feels like Summer here, since Oregon summers are really... cool. We were tracking and following up on some referrals on a street and I decided to be artsy. Little rural town can be beautiful too, eh? We were coming back from proleslyting and saw the "seashell" from a distance. It is just unreal to me. We went inside of it. In the first email I send you pictures of Sister Browning and myself in the chapel of the "seashell". They call it the Community of Christ Temple. It's hard for me to call it a temple, but that's what they call it. I like to refer to it as being a seashell. The Sister with the short blonde hair is Sister Maddox. She and Sister Browning are the VC Sister Leaders. She's amazing, just like all of them. We went out and did service one day. We were going to go paint and I realized I did not pack anything for painting. Escaped my mind while packing for a mission... so I wore some of Sister Browning's old stuff turned inside out. I hope you enjoy the shoes. :)
If there are other pictures without explanation, I apologize. I had to give the camera to Sister Browning and... it's just difficult.
Anyway, this has been an AMAZING week as far as the work goes. All around good, actually. For the last couple of days I've been shouting out "I CAN'T WAIT TO WRITE HOME ON MONDAY!" because things have been going so well! I wanted to share it all with you! First off, Mom, you will be very proud of me. We have been waking up and running a mile EVERY SINGLE MORNING. AND, As our April sacrifice (I think I wrote home about it last week) we gave up sugar, unless we're at a member's home and they insist. But, I feel good. my body is going into shock with no sugar but it's all good!
So, we've had a ton of referrals from people. I'll tell you about just a couple for now because I am running out of time. One is Sharon. She went on Mormon.org and asked for a Book of Mormon, so because I got to Missouri the missionaries went over and the first thing she said was "My husband and I are very interested in joining with the LDS church". Can you say wow? The next time we came to visit she had been reading the BoM said "We aren't sure this is for us. We don't know if this is what we want our son to be learning" (They have a 4 year old son). This was confusing to us because who wouldn't want to teach the teachings of Jesus Christ? We encouraged her. This is when I come into the picture. We stopped by to see how she was doing. She was a little hesitant but as we reassured her as she kept reading she'd love it, she qucikly responds "Okay!" and whips out a notebook full of questions. Woohoo! She's been golden ever since. Unfortunately, her husband's boss has been slamming her husband with Anti material and talking down about the church, basically scaring her husband from even meeting us as people. Sad day. But she came to church yesterday with her son, neice, and neice's fiance. She wants to come back and we're meeting with her again. She just absorbs all this and loves it! She has so many questions and they're GOOD questions abut the doctrine and order of the church. She just amazes me. I told her my story of joining almost 3 years ago and because of it she kind of likes me and feels very comfortable with me. I love when I have lived and loved enough to have someone trust me. I feel like my purpose is being fulfilled.
Another one was Phil. He was actually a referral from our Bishop in 2nd ward. We met with Phil Saturday night, gave him a church tour, invited him to be baptized, and he accepted while trying to hold back tears. He came to church yesterday and will be baptized in a couple weeks. The story behind Phil with us is extremely short. But as we get to know him, it's a huge testimony builder to hear how the Lord has been preparing him his whole life and he has finally embraced exactly what he needs. He's had a rough life, but has a heart of gold.
Tomorrow, we have the first ever "All Sisters Specialized Training" metting within the MIM (Missouri Independence Mission). For 5 hours tomorrow morning, all 40 sisters are traveling to Independence. I'll get to see my MTC district sisters again! Also, we have Zone Conference on Thursday. I'll have lots to share then, I'm sure. Cool story! During General Conference (unfortuantely, we didn't get to see all of it due to the work! But the little I did see, I loved!) they did all the callings and releasing and such. Elder Keys (pronounced Kies, rhymes with skies) was released as an area Seventy. He is going to be our new mission president come the end of June. Exciting stuff!
Sister Browning wanted me to tell you how she got Poison Oak this week! I sent a picture home with us in the doctor's room. I think she's in a gown. Yeah. We got out of VC duty for a couple hours to go to Liberty and get that checked out. She's on drugs now and healing. While we were up in Liberty, we stopped by Historic Liberty Jail. That tour and set up to share the history of Joseph Smith and the other church leaders in 1838-1839 is absolutely incredible. It brings you to life, as if you were really there listening to everything that went on. No pictures unfortunately, but maybe one day I'll serve there.
I'm loving Missouri still. I pulled out a postcard from Aunt Joyce that had Mount St. helens on it and really missed the northwest for a moment, but it's different here. It's rich in history and rich in the knowing of a future. It still amazes me how many different churches there are here. You have the mainstream LDS church which I represent, a billion and one different branches from that with several different names, and then many other Christian churches as you drive around town. But you can tell the difference in all of them. Only the LDS church has that spirit of revelation. Only the LDS church has the love of God constantly around us. Only the LDS church believes that families can be together forever.
I love being a missionary. I come home at night and my body just stops working. It's amazing how during the day, even though I am constantly moving and running and thinking and stretching my poor mortal mind and body to the max, the Lord keeps me moving forward.
Shall we not go on in so great a cause?
I love you all, very much. Please enjoy the pictures. I loved hearing from Mom, Dad, Henry, and Will today. I have thousands of snail mail letters to respond to. Those of you that have written me, they will be responded to! I promise I will get there.
Also, because I'm a horrible granddaughter, I didn't get anything sent out to Grandma on her birthday last week. Please tell her I love her dearly and that I hope she had a wonderful day. And I know you'll share these pictures with her. Hopefully in a few weeks I'll be able to send more.
I love you.
Sister Vicki Moore
Posted by Sister Moore at 6:16 PM
Monday, April 4, 2011
Greetings from Missoura!
I can't even tell you how I love not having a red timer in the corner as I write this email to you. This is much more relaxed. I'm in the public library in Independence. Really nice place, too.
So. Lots has happened!
First of all, I. Love. It. Here.
I was able to talk to Mom and Dad at the airport and that was SO great. I'm sorry it may have been the most expensive phone call of our lives. We boarded the plane and it was a nice 2.5 hour flight to Kansas City. The airport was really small. Comparable to the Idaho Falls airport. The 10 of us in the group (4 Sisters, 6 Elders) were met us the mission president, President Van Komen and his wife, Sister Van Komen. I have fallen in love with them. They are the kindest people. The 3 AP's (Assitants to the President... it's just a calling a couple elders fill) met us outside with a huge Ford van and a travel trailer for our luggage. Sister Jones and I had the privledge to drive back to the Mission Home in Independence with the President and his wife while the other 8 missionaries were in the van. They had a lunch made for all 10 of us and we were able to drive by the Kansas City temple before heading to the mission home. I got a couple pictures. The entire outside is basically done, and Moroni is not perched on top how in all his glory. It has been said the temple will be done next spring, so in a year! Basically, I get to go to that open house and they may pull the sisters in for tours, too. Needless to say, I'm STOKED.
We all got to the mission home and found out where we were to be serving for our first area. Out of the 4 sisters, I'm the only "greenie" that they put straight into the VC. That's right folks... Sister Moore is in the VC. Which I thought was ironic, because in the MTC I loved the normal 3 weeks of proselyting and such training and really didn't care for the VC training. I have been humbled. Heavenly Father is good at that. My trainer and companion is Sister Browning from Vancouver, WA. She's the Sister Leader in the VC. Oh my goodness, she's like another Whitney, sort of! I just love her. This is actually her last transfer and will be going home to Washington in May. So... I might send her after some of you to come say hi! You'll just fall in love with her. Take her wakeboarding! Somewhere along her family line is a blood relative that invented Browning Guns, which was the first automatic rifle to be invented in the world. Out here in Missouri it's very popular. Apparently she gets a lot of comments on her name. Pretty cool, eh? She attends BYU-Idaho and will be going back there eventually. We have lots in common. We have fun. :)
While in the mission home we were interviewed, assigned, and had pictures taken. We were given lots of information such as insurance information, credit card for funds, and such. In order to drive in the mission, we have to become a "Level 5 Teacher". This is kind of cool. In Preach My Gospel, there are outlines of the 5 lessons we are to study and teach as missionaries. We are to memorize each bullet point, each sub bullet point, and memorize one scripture to go along with each main point. Then, by memory, teach either our companion (Level 1), our Distrcit leaders (Levels 2 & 3), and our Zone leaders (levels 4 & 5). Each level corresponds with the lesson. My goal is to get that done in my first transfer. I'll be teaching Sister Browning the first lesson here in the next couple days. Also in the mission home they basically bestilled the fear of the Missourian chigger in me. I never knew what those things were, but apparently they are little insects that bury into your skin and lay eggs. They aren't poisonious or anything, but are irritating just like a mosquito bite. I have to avoid tall grass and bushes and such like the plague. My companion keeps laughing at me assuring me that those people at the mission home are crazy, but we'll see when they come out in the summer. We spent the night in the mission home, and were up at 5 the next morning. We caught a huge tour bus and rode that, along with all of our luggage, to the stake building right next door to the VC. This was transfer day: Thursday the 31st. There we said bye to the people we have been traveling with and hello to the new zone and district members. Apparently, the mission has 160 elders and 40 sisters. We went straight to work!
So, here's how the schedule works. I am in the VC for a 6 hour shift (except Sundays where it's only 3 hours, and except P-days which are Mondays) and then we proselyte (door to door, appointments, referrals, etc) for 6 hours. I serve in the Independence 2nd ward and the ward meets in the stake building right next to the VC. I'm in a regular ward on Sunday and have already met several of the members. Love them dearly already. Sometimes we're in the morning shift, sometimes the evening shift in the VC. The VC feels like a home, though. The spirit is so strong there and the other sisters are so great. There is also always a senior couple serving there. I love coming home to the VC. It's like I have my own little family there and a building to call home. I've already given a few tours, too! I love taking families through the "God's Plan for the Family" walk through. It gets me everytime. If you all are ever at a VC (there's one in Idaho Falls, SLC, etc) please go through that, Family. A family came through from Idaho Falls. They fell in love with me for whatever reason and might contact Mom and Dad... so just be warned. :)
The "seashell" is right across the street from us. We look out the front door and BAM, there it is. It's a fascianting building. I don't really know how to describe it. We're actually going to go take the tour of it right after I send this email.... :) It's the Community of Christ temple. Also, the Temple Lot dedicated by Joseph Smith is literally kiddy korner from the VC. Our church doesn't own it, unfortuantely. Sister Browning and I were waiting for an investigator so we went outside and stood on the lot. I was so surprised, but the you can feel the spirit on that sacred ground. My heart just started burning as we stood in a patch of grass. It was incredible. I had no idea.
I've met so many investigators. It's pretty great; Sister Browning and I will just be planning or something and she'll randomly call out a name and say "Oh! We need to go visit them!" And it's someone that was new from the day before. So many people... so little time. With only 6 hours of proselyting a day, we really have to plan carefully, and even then nothing seems to go as planned. Ha, it's great! Out of all these people I've met, I don't know how to describe it, but they all seem familiar. Whether they might remind me of parts of people at home by the way they look or act, or if I just can't place my finger on them, everyone seems familiar. I think that's a good thing. I know I'm supposed to be here in Missouri.
We had a fireside (and apparently the church worldwide is trying to get rid of the term "fireside" and start using the term "devotional" for everything. Sad, eh? My first LDS experience was at a fireside after Oklahoma! Remember, Deej?) last night. The first Sunday of every month we have this President's Devotional at the VC where recent converts share their testimony and story and we hear a message from President and Sister Van Komen. It was so uplifting. Sister Browning and I did "special musical number" and everyone was amazed at the fact that I've been out in the field for 4 days and was already up in front of people. They don't know that I really love to sing and enjoy doing that, ha!
I experienced my first midwest storm last night! SO AMAZING. I love natural disasters! When they don't destroy things, anyway... At the end of the day, all the VC sisters gather together and sing and pray in front of the Christus. As we were all leaving, the thunder and lightning started. Before I get into that though, The first 3 or so days I've been in Missouri had been mildly chilly. high 40's, low 50's. Yesterday it got up in the 80's and I got my first taste of a Missourian summer. They aren't kidding about the humidity. So anyway, last night was the storm. We went back to our apartment to plan and have a "Candle Party", as deemed by the wonderful Sister Browning. Basically a heart to heart. We could hear the rain coming down but we keep all of our blinded shut at all times for safety reasons. I opened the door and my level of joy went by exponentally! I have never seen a harder rain storm in my life, and I grew up in NW Oregon! In our PJs, we took an umbrella (forgive me, Oregonians), ran about 10 feet from our protected porch, and then had to go back. We got soaked as the water was coming in sideways. AMAZING. I tried to get pictures but it was dark. The thunder shook the apartment. The lightning made the night took like day. I was in love. But today it's back to being in the mid 40's. Bi-polar weather.
I love Missouri.
I love being a missionary.
I can't believe it's only been not even a week already. 6 days seems like forever! I only have less than 17 months to do this whole mission thing!!!
I don't really know what else to report... There is a rather large population of Polynesians out here and they all want to feed us. We constantly get either cash for lunch or offers for meals. But because of our crazy schedule we don't get a lot of time to exercise... I'm trying to be better. We did run a mile this morning! :)
Whitney and I are starting a challenge together! We are going to try and read from the Book of Mormon reading one chapter every day, starting tomorrow, and send our findings back and forth. Whitney is expecting her call here soon. WHITNEY, YOU BETTER TELL ME FIRST WHERE YOU'RE GOING! After your own family, of course. :) I talk about you all the time. Hahahaha. And I got your snail mail letter, by the way. LOVE YOU. I'll write a snail mail letter here soon.
I got an email from Trish... FINALLY. It's so good to hear from you dear! I have missed you and your wonderful husband! Keep 'em coming! Unfortunately, this shout out will be the only thing I can email to anyone. Send me your snail mail address, please! I'd love to start writing you! You can email me. I know you stuggle with letters. :)
A few of the elders from my zone in the MTC are already writing me and sharing with me experiences. Apparently, one of the elders named Elder Davis who is now in Fort Worth is a really good cook. His companion makes his bed and does his laundry for him as long as he stays in the kitchen and cooks. Hmm.... is that all I have to do for my future husband to do the household chores?
Also, one of my district leaders, Elder Wilde, and I were chatting inbetween conference sessions yesterday. Apparently, his first semester at BYU-Idaho was Winter 2009. So was mine. He took his American Foundations class from Brother Walz. So did I. Same time. Same class. he sat right in front of me in that class over 2 years ago. Small world, eh? It's awesome! He goes home the same time Sister Browning does, so he'll be out in Rexburg in the fall. Rexburgians... go find all these awesome people!
Well, I love you all. Please continue to post this to the blog and forward the email to Will, Kimberly, Whitney, Derek, whoever really. I'm not picky.
I just want to thank everyone for the letters and support you've given to me. Whether I see it first hand or not, I know I couldn't do this without the support from home. When I got to the mission home, I had 8 letters and postcards waiting for me. It's that support that keeps me sane and know that I'm not alone. All of Scappoose and parts of Rexburg are here with me in Independence and I am all the more powerful because of it. Because of my desire to stay obedient, I can still only write immediate family on email. Anyone can email me, but if I don't have your address when you email me I don't know how to respond. If you want to send it my way that would be grand. And I will write back as I can. I promise. :)
I send you all my love from Independence, Missouri. I'm praying for you always. I know the Lord is there with you. Until next time!
(and for Daddy... Victoria. :D )
Posted by Sister Moore at 6:54 PM