Monday, September 26, 2011



That's "hello" in Bulgarian... spelled in English.

It's been a crazy week! I think last time I wrote I said it had been slower. We had a lot more events happen this week. I don't really remember what happened. We did end up finding a bunch of potential investigators which will turn into investigators this week... one of them being a veterinarian. And he's awesome. So, we're going to teach him the gospel and he's going to teach me veterinary medicine. ha!

We had Zone Conference last Friday and it was great. To prepare for it we were asked to bring a white shirt... we ended up having a training about how to iron. But it was cool because we got free Oxi-Clean out of it. I got a random package from Momma Browning. Thanks momma! ha!  President Keyes had just gone to a mission president seminar and had us do this exercise where there are two rows of chairs facing each other and you are to teach the missionary across from you either how to pray, invite for baptism, etc in 2 minutes, then switch. It was great! There are some excellent missionaries out here. It was a 3 zone - zone conference however, so I got to see half of the sisters from the VC (THAT WAS AMAZING) as well as a few of the senior couples. They talked about street contacting, teaching when you find, and how to involve the members more in the work. So now it's up to us to implement those tools into our areas. At the end, all of the missionaries leaving in October got up to bear a quick testimony. I started bawling through it. President Keyes had shared a story about an elder who was so upset, that he started shaking in the corner of the mission home. The thing that he had prepared for his entire life was about to end. I have only been out 6 months or so, and it scared me. I felt for the Elders and Sister going home. We become family. They are my family away from home. President also said that we need to be "temple ready". When I first heard that the selfish thought instantly came to mind, "We get to go through the temple?!?" I'm seriously starved for the temple. Instead, he explained that referrals are going to go through the roof, and we get one chance to teach the first discussion. One. We need to be ready and know that lesson forwards and back. I can't wait for the Kansas City temple to open. We already have people of other faiths asking about it.

The Relief Society broadcast was exactly what I needed. it had been a while where I thought "they are speaking only for me". President Uchtdorf taught about a little flower called "Forget-me-not" and how it's five little petals can give us principles to live by. Basically, he called all the sisters in the church to repentance. It was great. I loved it. I needed it. Before the broadcast there was a special presentation about the 10 virgins, some play or show or musical... not sure what to call it. it was beautiful.. does anyone know what I'm talking about? As we were walking out this sister that I've never met before says, "Sister Moore, would you mind coming and talking to my daughter?" This girl lives in a branch that used to have sisters wanted to talk to us because we are now the only sister missionaries in the entire stake. I felt like a celebrity. It was ridiculous. I really don't think I deserve such love, but I sure do love the members and the people out here.

Church was great. Sadly, one of the part member families that we're focusing on didn't come, but they plan on coming next time. That evening, we went up to the Bishop's house and set up for our part of the fireside. For those of you that did the Get Connected program as a mentor out in Rexburg, you will know what I'm talking about, but does anyone know the Iron Rod activity? We gathered the youth, told them that we were going to blindfold them, and once they had the blindfold on they couldn't say a word or take it off until told to do so. We led them carefully outside, after blindfolding them, and put them in a field. From one end, we played Metallica, and from the other end we played MoTab. We had tied a rope around several different trees and they were to figure out what to do. Eventually, one of the youth "made it home" and I told him to start singing hymns. One by one, the youth made it up the Iron Rod and home. At one point, there were several "home" watching their brothers and sisters still wondering to and fro, lost and blind. It really opens up your eyes to why we want them to come home and to be baptized. Baptism by Priesthood Authority is the key to the gate of the Celestial Kingdom. You can't get in without it. We explained that and talked about how to become disciples of Jesus Christ through the letter of the law vs. the spirit of the law. I stole that one from BYU-Idaho, too. ;) It was great. I needed it. I love teaching the youth and I love talking gospel. The Bishop spoke too and continued to be riveting. I could listen to him talk gospel all day! He shared a scripture in Alma 5:57. It says something along the lines of "if you wish to follow the voice of the good sheppard, then depart or separate yourselves from all wickedness and from every unclean thing". Paraphrased because I don't have my scriptures in front of me right now. We have to be careful that things that seem harmless now have terrible consequences later on. His focus was on gaming. But this concept can be applied to anything. So be careful. Gaming today is wicked. Violence, immodesty, bad language. Stay away from the edge, brothers and sisters. Follow the voice of the good sheppard... grasp to the Iron Rod.

And my SD card reader is dead. We're not going to Wal-Mart today, so I apologize. No pictures for a while. I haven't really changed much physically. Maybe a little bit more rolls of love, Ha! But things are grand. I love hearing from everyone every week. And someone needs to tell me... did the Dickerson's have Elliott yet?! I've been dying to know! They are due in like, a week or something!!!!

I know that this gospel is true. The gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives, as it has changed me. I continue to deepen my testimony daily as I see how the gospel is changing the lives of others, too. Jesus is the Christ. He lives. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is his church, the only true and living church on the earth. And what does that mean to me? Everything.

I love you, brothers and sisters. Continue to cleave to the iron rod. It's worth it.

Love always,
Sister Moore

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sept. 19

Hola everyone,

It's been a slower week. We did get to meet the new district and that was a lot of fun. The elders are crazy and always the same. ;) We have zone conference this Friday and we are going all the way to Kansas City. There is some specialty training that is going on with Sister Keyes and she's asked all the elders to bring an extra white shirt and all the sisters to bring an extra cotton shirt. So... I wonder if she's going to teach us to iron or something? Ha! I look forward to zone conference. It is such a spiritual uplifting that is greatly needed. This past week we tried to contact a potential that hasn't been home for a couple times. We finally got her! However, she opens the door and said, "I'm sorry, I was misinformed. Are you Mormon?" And goes on to tell us she only believes in the Bible. Wouldn't give the Book of Mormon a shot at all nor would she let us explain why we read it. Sigh. Life of a missionary. But then miracles happen, too. There is a part member couple in the ward. The husband is 93 and has cancer. We went to go visit them to see if we could do anything for them and their 2 sons were visiting. it turned into a discussion about why we are on our missions. They found out I joined 3 years and asked why. It was great. One son said he "had to go". The other stayed and talked to us about it. We planted seeds! Miracles! So, good and bad. The work is never done. But I am grateful for all of these opportunities.

One of the apostles challenged the mission presidents to do "5 minute talks". I've talked about them before at district meetings. We are to do them at Zone conferences as well. The topic for Friday is "Having the faith to find". I was looking and studying that this morning and came across the scripture in Mosiah about when the angel appears to Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah and basically rebukes them. I haven't memorized it yet... but it says something along the lines of "Your father has prayed with much faith and I have come to convince you of the power and authority of God. For the Lord hears the prayers of his servants in faith". or something like that. I really liked that. I thought about how miracles have not ceased, for if they have it is because of unbelief among men. God continues to be a God of miracles. God has promised us time and time again: "and lo, I will be with you" was told to all the elders in church history. After Christ was resurrected he appeared to his 11 disciples and says to go preach the gospel, for "I will be with you alway". In Doctrine and Covenants, we see constantly how if we thrust in our sickle with all our heart, might, mind, and strength, we will be laden with sheaves. The only reason we can't accomplish something is because we have denied the power of God. I was immediately humbled. We have a Standard of Excellence that the mission tries to achieve every week. One of those things includes finding 4 new investigators every week. That's hard to do! But with that faith, it is possible. For Christ hath said: if ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me. Exercise that faith and know that God will provide and that miracles happen every day, even if we don't see them right away.

Next Sunday is the primary program, the Sunday after is General Conference (YEAH!), the next Sunday is Fast & Testimony, and the following Sunday is Stake Conference. We're going to be busy these next few weeks. I love it.

It's cooling off and it's been raining and misting a lot lately. Feels like home. We are speaking at a youth fireside on Sunday and I am SO excited. I love the youth. They are so strong and have so much ahead of them. We can learn a lot from them. So, we've been preparing for that too.

Thank you for those that write consistently, and write at all. It really strengthens me to know how loved ones are doing and care to update little ol' me out in Missouri.

My card reader is still not working. So I might have to invest in a new one. Pictures will come soon, I promise.

I love you all. Thank you for your prayers and support. I couldn't do this without you and your faith in me, the church, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I know Christ lives. I know he has restored the fulnes of his gospel to the earth today through his prophet Joseph Smith. I know prayers are heard and answered. I know the scriptures are true. I know that I am a daughter of God. I know that I am a daughter in His kingdom. I'm immensely grateful for my covenants and this knowledge. Shall we not go on in so great a cause?

Sister Moore

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sept. 12

Greetings Friends and Family,

First off, awesome scripture we found this morning: John 8:31-32. The truth shall make you free.

We had the fall festival last Saturday and I took lots of awesome pictures of the ward... sadly, my card reader isn't working today. So I'll have to share them later. But basically, it was a miracle. The ward was all decked out in cowboy boots and plaid shirts, laughing, loving, and cheering each other on through the games made available. Watermelon eating contest... pie eating contest... cow patty fling (yes, they were real cow pies) that the primary kids got to throw (with a glove)... I got hit once. Good thing I'm used to stuff like that. There was a tug-o-war, puddin' plop (the crowd favorite!), and a relay. I did not participate but I did get to help run it and make sure everyone got a part in it. Before this thing happened we were sharing it with everyone we could. One P-day we walked out of our apartment and these 3 girls were walking home from school. We strike up a conversation and find out they fell in love with the Sisters that were here last summer (one of them being Sister Browning) and wanted to come to the festival. To be honest I had forgot about it until they walked into the church, dressed up, looking for a familiar face. These girls are 11. Oh my goodness, it was a miracle. They loved it. One came to church yesterday and the other will come next week. One wants to start taking the discussions and told us she has been wanting to go to church for a while, just never knew what to do because her family isn't religious at all. She's so cool!! And she likes to play the game Ninja. Brownie points.

Church was a miracle and a train wreck... in a good way. I think I wrote home about an unknown that turned into a part member family and we were teaching the kids... well, the Dad or the member works on Sundays, but the wife brought the 3 kids to church. We called the night before and they said they were coming. Woo! We sat down for sacrament and they aren't to be seen. They close the doors to pass the sacrament... still nothing. I was getting so sad... I said a silent prayer... then after sacrament they walk in the doors. Sister T turns to me with wide eyes and whispers, "Sister Moore! They're here!" Oh my goodness... my gratitude to Heavenly Father was immeasurable. However, the rest of sacrament meeting was 2 high councilmen rebuking us for how to run our scouting program and it went over time, the primary was practicing for a program so the kids just sat and listened to the other kids singing songs and the mechanics that the leaders used, and our gospel principles class to which the mom joined us for was on The Final Judgment. Um... not really ideal. However, they said they want to come back. The mom wants to get her son in scouts and one of the girls found a friend at church from school so she wants to come back. And... the mom shared with us that her LA husband was thinking about coming back to church. (!!!!). Heavenly Father does not cease to perform miracles. And the fact that I get to see this front and center is one of the biggest blessings. The gospel is true. 

Transfers came and went. Sister Tafradzhieva and I are still here in Odessa, with which I'm completely okay with. They are a part of my extended family. I just love the people in the ward and those in the boundaries that have not heard the gospel yet. I just click and everyone looks familiar!! And we all know what that means. One of the zone leaders went home to southern Utah so that was sad. But we got a new one... from Utah. The district had an area open up so we are bigger this transfer. Woo! Plus, 2 brand new missionaries are in the district. I'm way excited to see them grow. Seriously... I never want to take off my badge. I still have 18 months left... right? Someone needed a blessing and so the zone leaders were driving through our area and offered. We had to ask a member that lived nearby if we could use their home and they did. So awesome of them. Afterwards it was Sister T, myself, the Elders, and this sister just talking. It was bizarre to see 2 Elders in the home of someone like that. Memories came flooding back to me of when the Elders would be in the home of the Claridge's teaching me or in the home of my parents' teaching Mom. I loved it. It was beautiful. I guess I'm so used to me being the missionary and not seeing the Elders in members' homes... just at meetings.

It was SO awesome to hear from Mom and Dad, Henry, Will, & Derek. Thank you all SO much for everything you do for me, and to build God's kingdom. Keep sending me things... I love hearing about how you are growing and changing. :) You all inspire me every day.

Things are grand here. The weather is cooling off... I get to nap today... haha. I'm always so tired. Life of a missionary I guess. If there's anything you all need let me know. I'm really good at using my resources. ;) And truly, if anyone gets a chance, please send my companion, Sister Tafradzhieva, a letter. It seriously would give her so much light, just like you all give to me every day. Thank you for your prayers and support. I love you all very much and am grateful for you in my life. God speed! Shall we not go on in so great a cause?

Love always,
Sister Moore

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sept. 5

Hello my beloved brothers and sisters,

Yesterday was indeed Labor Day and the library was closed. We get to come today and report home before we go out and work. Labor day was fun; it was our Zone P-day. We continue to be the only sisters in the whole zone but the Elders are great. I've been asking to play soccer forever now and they made plans for us all to go play on a soccer complex. It brought back such wonderful memories. Sister T was my cheerleader as she doesn't prefer soccer, but she's a great one at that! One of our zone leaders goes home on Friday as it's transfers again. It's really sad to see any missionary leave because as a district and as a zone you work together to accomplish a common goal. In this case bringing others to Christ. We all made our transfer predictions... President Keyes told us that they are going to start keeping missionaries in areas longer. Being in an area 6 to 8 months will be normal. So, I predict that I'm staying in Odessa, but we'll see. We find out tonight. We'll be anticipating that dreaded phone call all day!

We are planning on going to the VC with one of our investigators on Wednesday and I'm so excited! I called to make the reservation and got to talk to one of the sisters that I have just fallen in love with! She's so great! She also told me she's training next transfer! They had called several missionaries for a special meeting last Saturday because this new program, that is supposed to be world-wide, for training is being implemented. She got called. We have 18 new elders and 1-2 new sisters coming in tomorrow!! Crazy! And Next transfer there are 12 elders and 3ish sisters! It's crazy awesome getting all these new missionaries. This mission is huge... we need lots of missionaries to help the work progress. That's something I'm deepening my testimony in. We really are all in this together. This journey called life is something we just can't do alone. I love that. I love that every teaching of the gospel affects everything in our lives, no matter how meaningful or meaningless it seems. That's the beauty of it.

On Sunday, It was fast and testimony meeting... my favorite! We brought two less-active sisters with us and they really enjoyed it. They remembered negative feelings about going to church, but as the meetings went on, they were able to feel of the sweet spirit at church. A challenge had been issued to the deacon's quorum to bear their testimonies, and as soon as the conductor sat down, floods of young men and women went up to the podium to await their turn. I was so touched by their example. They arose to the challenge, and their testimonies were beautiful, sincere, and inspiring. Plus, 3 young men were found worthy to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. Amazing. Our dinner appointment that day was with the RS president and I just LOVE her and her family. Her husband steals babies all the time and is probably the biggest family man I've met out here. Her kids are so strong and respectful. One of her daughters, who's 9, is one of my favorite people ever! She wears dresses to church... with basketball shorts underneath and as soon as the bell rings for church to let out, off come her shoes! She's the funniest little thing. We were teaching our lesson and she snuggled right up to me as I was teaching. Little things like that make the biggest difference in people's lives. As we were driving home from our appointment, the sun was setting and the whole westward part of the sky was a deep orange blending into a dark purple. As we drove by we saw the silhouettes of the corn stalks against the orange sky. I looked ahead and streams of gratitude filled my mind. I thought of the day I just had. I thought about the examples in the ward and in the mission. I thought about my life, the things I've been blessed with; talents, gifts, friends, and family back home. I thought of the life the Lord has given me and of the love he shows me each and every day. The spirit testified of the love and I couldn't help but close my eyes, breathe deep, and exhale looking towards the heavens, expressing my deep, sincere gratitude for all I have been given. Most of all, for the knowledge of my Savior, his gospel, and my Heavenly Father's love. That's why there are so many young men and women serving the Lord now, in the past, and to come. They have felt the Spirit of God. 

Last Friday was our district meeting. I want to share an experience to how fun it is to work and learn from one another! Our district meeting is small. Us, Concordia Elders, the district leader and his companion, and the Zone Leaders. We split up to practice or role play "We invite, they commit, we follow-up". I played the investigator. They committed me to read 3 Nephi 11. Awesome. We brake and come together again and one of the elders asked if I had read. Pretending to be an investigator, I said something along the lines of, "Ya know, I was going to read it but I got a call from an old friend that I haven't heard from forever! I ended up talking to her and just falling asleep". The Elders are silent for a moment. Then the one that asked me has this almost disgusted look on his face (granted he's tying to be sincere) and he says, "Really? A friend called?!" It was so funny. Oh my goodness, we were laughing all the way through the closing prayer. As a missionary I understood what he was trying to do... be devastated with someone doesn't read the Book of Mormon, but as an investigator I almost took it as offensive. Of course I have friends! Was he implying that I didn't? You might have had to of been there. All the same... I love the missionaries I serve with. They are my extended family. I love my companion. At dinner last night, the brother asked her how she likes it here in America. She said "I feel like I'm home". As her trainer and companion I can't even begin to express how much that meant to me. I'm so glad she's been feeling better about being here, considering she has little support from home, if any. She's so strong. Hey friends and family... write a letter to Sister Tafradzhieva and send it to the mission address. It would make her week!

The work has been good. We are working hard. I'm exhausted all the time. I'm being stretched and pulled, shaped and molded, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

This gospel is true. Applying the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ into our lives personally brings blessings we didn't even know we were missing or yearning for. I'm grateful for the people that brought the gospel into my life, and for all those who continue to inspire me. Thank you all for our example to me and those around you. You touch the lives of so many each and every day whether you see or or not. This is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I know he loves us. I know Joseph Smith was called to be the prophet of this final dispensation. I know the ordinances and covenants of baptism, confirmation, and the sacrament bring us joy and prepare us to enter the temple to where we receive even more blessings. The gospel is here for us, not against us.

When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Life becomes simple and meaningful. Shall we not go on in so great a cause?

Sister Moore