Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22

There have been a lot of storms going on in Odessa!! A couple nights ago there was one so bad the sirens went off in Oak Grove for extreme weather warning. I woke up at 3AM by a flash of lightning of all things... Parents, why am I able to sleep through anything and everything?? But no tornadoes, so that's good.

I've been having lots of spiritual experiences left and right and I just have to come out and say "THE CHURCH IS TRUE, PRAYERS ARE HEARD AND ANSWERED". There's this girl that I wrote about a couple weeks ago, and she was just on fire. She disappeared for 10 days... a lot of prayer and fasting went into Heavenly Father bringing her back to us. Lo and behold, she calls. She had moved over in Lee Summit area so unfortunately we won't get to finish teaching her, but she's anxious to continue the discussions and enter into the waters of baptism. She's definitely one of those people missionaries go out and were supposed to find and meet... just, for me.

We took another one of our investigators up to the Historic Liberty Jail to the Mission President's Devotional, where recent converts bear their testimonies and the mission president and his wife give short talks. I feel like I was bawling through the whole thing. I've been brought low this last week and I've been able to feel the spirit through all of my experiences. I am relying upon Him more and I'm seeing more of His hand in my life. Our investigator, who has been investigating for what seems like forever, finally said "I think I felt the spirit again". He was really hesitant to setting a date for baptism, but after the Jail experience, he talked again asking Sister Larson and myself to sing at his baptism and started asking questions about how it will go. Prayer answered. This work is true. He testified how he could feel the power behind the testimonies of those who spoke. You can't deny someone's testimony. We're excited for him to continue to know his Father in Heaven even better. I did get to see the Blackers, a missionary couple that has been serving at the VC and Jail. They go home in a couple weeks and I wasn't going to be able to see them. Tender mercy! Got to see them! Even got a picture!

So, Sister Tafradzhieva (Sister T) LOVES riding bikes. I really don't. At least not the ones that we have at our house. The bike that I ride had about 25% of its brakes intact. We took them out last week and I had my life flash before my eyes... consistently. The Elders have been coming over after district meeting to work on them every week for a couple weeks. They are so good! Ladies at home... there are lots of worthy young men serving in the Missouri Independence Mission.... ;) Speaking of district meeting, we are to prepare for "5 minute talks" about a certain topic and are called impromptu to talk. We have to memorize a scripture and don't get any notes. Guess who got called this week? It was kind of ironic, actually. Sister T had been preparing for it for the past 2 weeks and I was really nonchalant about it. Funny how that works, eh? But it went well. 

This week has been really good. I find that we tract a lot more out here and I really dislike it. I'm still learning patience, but after knocking doors for 2 hours, we did get to teach a lesson to someone who says he's "seeking for truth". How often does that happen?! Heavenly Father knows us and blesses us for our diligence and obedience.

We came out of a dinner appointment the other day and saw this HUGE spider in the driveway! Picture attached... Brown Recluse? Harmful? I think so. The other picture is what I do on P-days. I don't really have any justification for my face. But last district meeting we had car inspections. We inspect the Elders' car and vice versa. Well, one of the Elders thought it would be funny to drive our car up on the ledge for us. I had memories come flooding back about my first transfer when Sister Browning and I popped the tire on a different Corolla back in Independence... silly Elders.

I'm so grateful to have heard from so many friends and family these last couple weeks! I hear a lot from Sister Hawkes and she's having some incredible experiences down in Oklahoma. She's been inspiring to me. My parents are amazing (as if we didn't already know that), and it's so good to hear from Will, Derek, and Trish. Your support feeds my fire. You are a part of the Lord's work when you support the missionaries. I invite each and every one of you to pray for a comfortable missionary opportunity. They are all around you. We've been inviting members to do the same and to start praying about who to invite to this Fall Festival the Odessa ward is having. Being out here in the country, we get a lot of western folks. We're having a festival with food, games, and costumes! I suggested something called the "Puddin' Plop" where one team member lays on the ground on their back with mouth wide open, and the other team member stands on a ladder above them trying to pour pudding in their mouths. Awesome? I think so! We're preparing for a good turnout. 4 days after this event there is a youth fireside that the missionaries get to speak at, too. I LOVE THE YOUTH. I miss my seminary students. Unfortunately, transfers is the week before these events. Talk about awesome timing....

Things are good. The mission is hard, but so rewarding. Kind of like salvation. I know that Christ lives. I know that he leads and directs this church through his chosen servant Thomas S. Monson, the prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know the Book of Mormon was inspired and saved for our say to help us understand more about our Heavenly Father. I want to share a quote with you. I have tried my hardest to take this to heart and will continue to do so for a remainder of my mission.

"I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my presence makes sense, my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminent positions, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few. My guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go until he comes, give until I drop, preach until I KNOW. And when we returns for his own he will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear." -President Henry B. Eyring

Shall we not go on in so great a cause?
Hebrews 13:6 - The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Sister Moore

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