Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 11

Well. This has been a crazy busy week, I'll tell you what. I have a lot I want to write home and share. We'll see how much I type out.
First of all, this church is true. This is the only true and living church as it is guided and lead by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know this because I've lived it.
Last week was a lot of fun. We had some up days and some down days. I prayed a lot to my Father in Heaven. We had Zone Conference last Friday and that was an amazing experience. I had been looking for answers to prayers for a while. My zone is the Warrensburg Zone, and Warrensburg went to combine with the Independence Zone out in Independence. I got to see a lot of the sisters and a few of the senior couples that I served with in the VC. That was a huge tender mercy!  I didn't hardly sleep the night before because I was so excited!! I had received a call from the Sister Leaders a couple nights before and got some updates on my recent converts and parts of the Independence 2nd ward. That was amazing! One RC has an unsupportive husband which is heartbreaking. She can't even make it to church. I know I am so grateful for my own family and their support in letting me live my faith. Thank you...
Because we have our new mission president and his wife in now, we had interviews with them during zone conference. Sister Keyes is so cute! She keeps saying how she has no idea what's doing but keeps on working. It's amazing, and she does a wonderful, wonderful job. She asked all about my family so I shared a ton about my family and the Claridges. Plus, I bragged about how awesome my home ward is and my support group out in Rexburg. I have the biggest family ever, ha! President Keyes used to be a 70. He served as a 70 for 6.5 years, was released for a week, and then called to the Missouri Independence Mission as a mission president. He served here 40 years ago, too. They shared stories of their lives and how they had an opportunity to eat dinner with President Monson. They shared how they could all go sit down and they would bring the meal. However, onesome has recognized President Monson and started chatting with him. Instead of responding, "Oh thank you, it was great to see you" and contonue eating, President Monson would get up, have a real conversation with them, wish them well, and then sit down. That happened again and again. President Keyes shared with us how he didn't think President Monson ever even got to eat! What a man. What an example. President Keyes is bringing some new expectations, if you will, to the mission. Only 3 things. they were 1. Christ centered. We are to serve for Christ. 2. Love your companion. and 3. Go to work. What more do we need? It's sad to see the Van Komen's gone but the Keyes' have some incredible ideas in store to continue to have the work progress!
The Assistants to the President always give a training. One gave a heartfelt testimony and training about going to work. There was an elder in the mission that was going home. He was at the mission home the night before he flew out and he turned to the AP and said, "I'm miserable. I'm not going to spend the last few hours of my mission here". So they hijacked the mission van, trailer full of luggage still attached, and when tracting for the final few hours. The AP shared another experience like that with a different Elder going home just last transfer. As he took the missionaries to the airport, he embraced one Elder that he really loved and that Elder whispered something in his ear because turning around, not to be seen for a time. He said, "Finish strong". What better advice could one give. The second AP talked about tender mercies. In 1 Ne 1:20, Ether 6:12, and 1 Ne 8:8, it all mentions the words "tender mercies" of the Lord. However, they also describe something else. What exactly is a tender mercy? Is it different than a blessing? This is my interpretation of the scriptures. Take it for what it's worth. In 1 Ne 1:20, Nephi tells how his father, Lehi, has his life in danger. Then testifies of the tender mercies of the Lord. In Ether, the people had been in these boats at sea for who knows how many days. They they reached land they exclaimed joy for the tender mercies of the Lord. In 1 Ne 8, it tells that they traveled in darkness before they received a tender mercy. See the pattern? We need to learn from and watch for patterns. The Lord gives us tender mercies when times are rough. To me, a tender mercy is something given to us from Heavenly Father telling us that he is very aware of our situation and that we are not forgotten. That, is a tender mercy of itself. Our Father in Heaven is very aware of us. Always.
Anyway, the zone conference was amazing. President Keyes and I bonded over small town living. They are from Uintah, UT, about... 2,000 people? And I am of course from our beloved Scappoose. He thought that was neat. Sweet. :)
The heat is getting ridiculous. The other day, it was 103* with 100% humidity. We had planned to go tracting, but we decided we wanted to live. Because of that, we did end up visiting a less-active family. They are just so great! We walked into their mansion and they made us feel so much as home. She had just made homemade apple pie. Good timing? I think so! He had baptized her when they were young adults, about 18-21, and got married 3-4 years after. That's a really sweet story. :)
Before it got 103*, (it was more like 95*) we were tracting the other day, walking up this street in Oak Grove. Sister Tafradzhieva really likes cats. This huge cat runs out of a bush about 100 feet ahead of us and she exclaims, "Fat cat!! Follow the fat cat!!" in her awesome Bulgarian accent. We did, and found a new investigator out of it! Miracles! Random, but miracles!
So... I need to somehow hear from Sister Hawkes! She's in the MTC now, right? Mom, can you forward this email to her? I don't have her mission email though... I could guess. She should be in the field around the 27th of this month... then we'll be really close and she can experience this crazy heat and humidity with me! Awesome! I'm so proud of her.... I could write novels on how great Sister Hawkes is.
I was looking back through my journals the other day. It's getting full... however, there are so many wonderful hidden treasures in there from speakers out at BYU-Idaho (BTW, when I was still at the VC a bus tour from BYU-Idaho came through and I knew one of the girls from over a year ago. We had taken a class on Pakistan together! How cool, eh?) and I realized I need to go back and study those notes. I'm making my way through the Book of Mormon very nicely. I've never read it all the way through, cover to cover (the true comes out...).
Ok, so the mosquitos out here in Missouri are on steroids or something. I have 19 bites on my calves and feet, and they are BIG. I have not experienced chiggars yet (knock on wood), but if anyone ever comes and visits, beware. They are worse than the northwest, if you can believe it. As I write this I keep bending over to itch my feet... haha. Life of a missionary!

We give church tours out here. I have never heard of them before my mission, but this is a way to introduce investigators to the church for those that may be uneasy about going to church with hundreds of people. We also give them to members for practice and to help build their own testimonies. We gave our ward mission leader and his family a tour and they acted as investigators. The boy went by the name "Yuki"... haha. At the end, we were supposed to go to the font and talk about baptism, etc. Well, all these workers came in (the Odessa building is being extended) and we couldn't get to the font. Our WML is hiliarous and amazing... he starts talking to the workers and asked them point blakn and boldly that they need to be baptized. Oh man, it was powerful! Turns out a couple of them are not members so we gave them a couple Book of Mormons and we should see them again. I just love the WML and his family. They have gone through a lot and his conversation story is amazing. He was born into the church.

And! My 3 year anniversary of my baptism is on Thursday, 14 July. My confirmation date is on next Wednesday, 20 July. I'm going to party! or work. What better way to celebrate as a missionary? If you want to help me out, send awesome journals. I need them. :)

I've typed a lot. Must be making up for lost words from last week. Did I talk this much before my mission? I can't remember! ha! I know this church is true. I know that the organization, order, and priesthood restored through the prophet Joseph Smith is real, powerful, and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know he leads this church through a living prophet: Thomas S. Monson. I know the power of the Book of Mormon and I know that it is true. The lives of these prophets and people of old teach us so much about the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness. I know God lives and that He is my loving Heavenly Father. I know I am a daughter of God and that through His son, Jesus Christ, we can return to live with Him again. Just as the Apostle Joseph B. Wirthlin taught, "Although we might settle for less, Heavenly Father won't, as he sees us as the glorious beings we are capable of becoming". With Christ, we can do anything. We have so much in store for us... what are we waiting for? Shall we not go on in so great a cause?

Sister Moore

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