Monday, December 30, 2013

Well Shoot

Dear Friends and Family, 
  Come onn family two weeks in a row! I was hoping to hear about all the non electronic things you got for Christmas and the delicious food im sure Grandma made. Christmas eve in Yerevan was pretty great, it was a good recharge, focused on Christ and missionary work. It was awesome to see everyone that I havent seen in a few months from the south. It was hard to hear that the winter seasons been rough on everyone, but good things are happening in the mission and there are a lott of baptisms lined up for January, so we're excited to hit the new year sprinting. Christmas day we did a little devotional as a district (i tried to organize that and it went fine, but we should've just watched a Bible Video or something. Theres a reason they have me talk about teaching and finding every week and not about Christmas, i was not used to it.) then we had pizza- no, not american pizza and sadly not even close. im gunna eat an entire papa johns one day. anyway then it was back to work. we had a good day though. we got connected with a former investigator- he just tried to rent us his place, but hes a good man with a good family and hes religious. he's super connected to the armenian church, but we got him to atleast realize he needed to figure whos right. hes not crazy about reading or coming to church, so theres plenty of work to be done, but he lets us come over. i love how straight he is with us, and how straight that allows to be back. after talking about false prophets as wolves among sheep, he asked me if i was a wolf. never heard that one before. it lets me explain things as they are though. after we met with him we were walking to try to meet with one of three possible members, and then another one living close by we hadnt thought about called us and asked for help. so we got to do some electrical work for her and then had a really great lesson. it was an eye opener, i hadnt met with her before and realized shes an awesome member we need to work with. so that was good. 
   other news this week, we're continuing our branch list/less active project. we finally got all 400sih names of the members on record here (maybe 70 are active) seperated into the 3 missionary areas we have in Gyumri. we visited a name branch pres gave us and reported that she had moved to Russia, married to a non member, 2 kids, her mom passed away, and shes from Khazakstan, so sadly she really didnt have much of a reason to come back to Gyumri, and the people we talked to had no number or address. so branch pres accepted we have to send her record to Salt Lake and clean out ours. its sad work, but it is needed, and itll make it a lot easier for the next missioanries to not feel overwhelmed by 400 names, none of which anybody recognizes. now theyll know who has a lot of potential to be brought back, who hates us, etc etc. and we can already tell theres potential to bring people back and find new investigators through this work. im excited, its the first time i've ever focused a lot on bringing others back and strengthening them. 
  well theres not much else, yes it is my halfway mark this week. i love that my mission is 2013 and 2014, right on the dot basically. new years already encouraged me to think about the year and the one ahead, and that gave me the opportunity to dwell a lot on what ive accomplished/how ive changed the first half of my mission, and what needs to happen the second half to be the missionary i want to be. 
well i love you guys, i hope new years is awesome (theres no one outside, we're just praying well get invited in by some nice random people to eat and talk) and have fun back to school!!
love elder moore

us at the party

So Elder Marco gave me basically the coolest gift i've ever gotten. thats from us at Bjni way back in the summer

my group, a year later, still not taking good pictures together
did i mention the toothpaste was AMAZING? man Crest mint just blows russian teeth whitener out of the water. im hoping the two big tubes are enough to last the year. i told my comp id strangle him mid brushing if he used it

The Fox

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sick Sick Sick

Dear Family and Friends, 
  Man, you leave bablyon behind and do fine with it and then you get sick sick sick and think of Bayside again. Haha last night the random thought popped into my head to ask that my family be blessed to remember to write me... thats okay i have faith without the miracle :D burnnn no really though alex did write and i got good other christmas emails and i know everyones busy with fam. im just hoping everythings normal for skype on wednesday. check some time thing and make sure you know for sure what time itll be there when its 8PM in Armenia, we dont do daylight savings or anything and that just scares me. 
  anyway not a lotta got done this week. elder christensen spent the first half of the week with a nasty cold that slowed but didnt stop us. then i hit some of the longer nights of my mission with some sort of virus or food poisoning. sunday we were finally ready to go work and then it hit elder christensen. so that stinks. my zone leader has been trying to help me understand this could be an opportunity to learn to minister to others before i try to minister to the armenians. his point is valid, we are called to help others, not just those that arent baptized members. its tough though when things with investigators havent really gone your way since, well... hmm. but the Lord continues to teach me through it all as long as i let Him and dont complain. things went well in the district though, the other elders efforts are starting to pay off so we're excited for them. you never want to sit back and blame the situation but we're pretty sure that after all these new year feasts we'll atleast have more people to talk to
  while i was sick i decided to call every number in our area book. we keep records (we meaning missionaries in general) of "potential investigators" idk if its the same in other places but here it basically means anyone you talk to that you can give contact info about. they are certainly not the most reliable of means to find good investigators, but seeing as no one wants to talk to us i decided i would call people that talked to missionaries atleast once. plus my last comp taught me a good lesson that it was a good way to show the Lord you were serious about trying everything. so i called a bunch of people that had talked to the elders on the street about a year and a half ago. it was basically like a door approach, i kinda wish i knew how to do those "hi, im elder moore. yeah i know you dont know me. i have your number cause you've talked to missionaries like me from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. i just wanted to know if you'd want to talk again" a fair number of people hung up on me midsentence, others used the excuses they probably used a year and a half ago, but i actually got two people to say sure. hopefully we can meet with them this week. 
  on other fronts, we were working with a less active that showed up after being baptized in 2007 then moving to Georgia, but no one here remembers him. anyway we were working, hes pretty weird, its like im talking to a computer and regardless of the question i give he just seems to say everything he knows about the Bible. well this sunday our super strong member said she finally remembered him, and that hes not actually a member... hmmm. is he counted as a new investigator? do i want to work with said new investigator? we're gunna try to get to the bottom of whether hes actually a member or not, then convince him of the result, then let our Branch President call the shot if he's crazy. everyone needs their salvation, but the scriptures teach us the Church has to be built on the strong in spirit and leadership, so itll be BP's call since he'll be responsible for the man. we'll see. 
  not too much else to say i think. tomorrow we'll be in yerevan, get to see everyone i havent served around lately. we got some awesome white elephant gifts to join in the fun. it hasnt snowed too much but the snow on the ground wont melt and just gets more and more packed and icy. kinda sick of that. its dang cold outside, and since our apartments are made of cement and only that its dang cold inside too haha. we have a heater though, we moved our beds into our living room and sealed off the other rooms. im enjoying winter, mostly im just continuing to enjoy the experience that is missionary work. 
 i love you all, hope you have a fabulatastic Christmas, cant wait to see you! paint your faces, have  Liz do it
love elder moore
i paid about 60 USD total for the two to be made by a member family, im super happy with em

Monday, December 16, 2013

Well, that was disgusting

Dear Everybody, 
  I picture the somewhat now old Staples commericial with the Staples button saying "well that was easy" for my title. This week I tried Khash! Basically I knew it wouldnt be good but had to try it anyway. Khash is boiled cow foot soup. We had our member make it, shes served over 3 years time of mini missions, so we knew she wouldnt get offended if we hated it or threw up in her house. pictures included. its basically grease soup, with lots of salt and garlic in it. They tell you to throw it lots of lavash (tortilla bread)- i put in a ton, and then it became salty garlicy grease soup filled with soggy bread and it was gross. the flavor itself wasnt terrible but wasnt pleasant, and then all the grease settled in my stomach. our member finished mine for me. then you have to try the meat, scrape it off the hoof sitting in your bowl. so i took a bite of that. it almost didnt stay down but this iron stomach reigned supreme again. it was basically like eating a fat chunk of gristle and lard. pretty gross. i didnt eat the rest of the day and was sick the next day but now im fine and i can say ive eaten khash. 
   not too much else happened this week unfortunately. the family we had taught last week ignored us all week. either they didnt like something and just wouldnt tell us, figured we would just go away (good luck with that. its something that really bothers me now. people need to understand the easiest and only way to get rid of missionaries is just to honestly tell them you dont want it) or theyre caught up in new years prep. everyone is. so armenian christmas is jan 6, and they do more for new year anyway. they throw feast parties for 7 straight days, so everyone is working to get the money to buy all the food and booze. sacrament attendance is about half the normal. not too much to do. we have to stock up cause the grocery stores will be closed for a few days. anywho. 
 i went on two exchanges with teh elders in the district this week, got to serve with elder miller for the first time since we were enemies in the MTC. not enemies, but it didnt go great. we had a good experience though, ive grown up a lot and hes done a fair amount of changing. id serve with him in a heartbeat now. i havent gotten to serve around my mtc group too much, but its always nice to look in the mirror and realize the distance i have come. 
  anyway i got nothing else. it hasnt been easy but im enjoying christmas season as a missionary here. everyone loves when we sing christmas songs in english. missionaries grow closer together as we're away from home and try to work hard through the season. we'll be in yerevan tuesday as armenia for christmas, then wed we'll be skyping and we'll have a zone activity sometime next week. its just a nice time to sit and think about Christ. 
  love you all, hope everyone comes together and remembers the spirit of Christmas, cant wait to see you all! woof. 
elder moore

khash liquid, you can see the grease bubbles

The meat

Camera has cut off my head

Monday, December 9, 2013

These boots are made for walking



Dear Family AND Friends,
  Not sure why i capitalized and. oh well. everyone keeps making fun of my english. 
ITS COLD. hot diggitty its cold and snowy. it was cold the whole week, scarf, sweater, gloves, two socks, etc. etc. then saturday night we got dumped on, and it continued most of the morning and afternoon sunday. it was a long walk to our blind members house and then to church, tons of snow and wind. its not snowing anymore and not too terribly cold but the snows a pain. no one really treats the snow, theres a truck driving around with two guys throwing dirt on it occasionally. so you have the snow thats been walked on, packed down and slippery, or you have the untouched stuff thats thick and takes effort to walk through. i've slipped a number of times, two memorable so far. i slipped hard in front of a Jehovah's Witness couple. they tried not to laugh, then asked me a question about how the end of the world was going to go. then this morning i was getting on a marshutni with a bag in one hand and phone in other and straight up ate it. the women freaked out. my backside hurt. its funny how when you dont have too many people to talk to and less chances to exercise humility and lose your pride, God gives it to you anyway and you look like a fool. my comp is fairly taller than me and a lot less coordinated, but he's stayed on his feet so far and gets a good laugh. anyway ive been happy to get my boots into action, theyre pretty awesome. 
   we taught a family this week! its been a goal of ours this transfer to find a family. theyre chaotic and harder to teach but sooo worth it. i told you about the man last week, he let us in off the street. this week we went back and everyone was home. my comp, who's already super quiet and doesnt teach much, decided to play with the kid the entire time to earn the trust of the mom. it worked, but he took our member's attention with him so i taught the whole thing myself, which im never a fan of. but they liked it, they loved Joseph Smith and agreed to read the BoM. there was a special moment at the very end. my comp and the kid are nuts, the member and mom are distracted, im trying to explain the need to be rebaptized. the dads getting distracted by everything, but all of the sudden his mom just goes LISTEN! and they stare at me for a good 30 seconds, then accepted to be baptized. it was awesome. other than them there isnt too much going on but we're working hard on controlling what we can and being grateful. 
   other news from this week... i was in vanazdor tues. then wed i had an interview with Pres Carlson. it was good. lots of needed statements and assignments/advice. he's legit. 
  yeah i think thats about it yall. i love being here, i know good things can happen in Gyumri with hard work. im glad you had good thanksgivings and Christmas is coming up. its a good time. stay classy, the Church is true because its lead by Jesus Christ
Love Elder Moore
The The building you cant see much of on the right is our church


This is more accurate of what little villages here look like. 
this bread is fluffy and delicious and costs 50 cents. its only good for about 3 days but it usually gets eaten in like two

elder christensen all bundled up

leather jackets and sunglasses, looking oh so good

Monday, December 2, 2013

mernum em

Dear Famsham and Friendrends, 
   First, off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY POPS. Dads awesome, I love him. I walked by an old man playing an accordion today (doesnt happen much) and threw 100 dram (25cents, but worth more here) in his case- he was so happy he started singing. i thought about paying him more to let me video tape him singing a birthday song but we try not to look like tourists. anyway i hope its a good one dad. 
  so yeah today we didnt get to email at normal time and i think the sister in the office sent home an email that we wouldnt- the president of Russia is here (?) not sure what he wants with Gyumri. There is a big Russian army base here. anyway all the main roads were closed off and the shops on them were closed. it was chaos cause the police were all out and keeping the roads closed but apparently no one told the marshutni drivers cause they had no clue what was open and what wasnt and where they should drive. we almost had to walk home, that wouldve taken like 1.5 hours. and all the police people kept saluting us and speaking in Russian hahaha. Hayernov! (In Armenian, say in it Armenian!) sometimes people guess we're Russian, and everyone here can get by, i guess we just got more of it today cause the big cheese came. anyway we were gunna email wednesday cause tomorrow ill be in vanadzor with the zone leaders, and we try to use nighttime hours to proselyte, but elder christensen has been SICK. so when our meetings died and he didnt feel good, but dediced he could sit down, we figured wed do email now and that would be better than sitting at home. mernum em means "im dying" hes the sick one, but im dying. we've been inside all day since friday with the execption of church and today. i've watched the districts, all bible videos, all mormon messages, the testaments, the bom videos and the work of salvation. TWICE. im charging through the BoM in armenian and english. trying not to nap cause then i cant sleep at night. he doesnt really seem to be improving cause its not like nausea or weakness or anything just a very bad stomach pain. sis carlsons working with the area doctor to get him all better. i keep asking the other elders to come and watch him so i can get outside but if they have a meeting then they wont switch out with me, and they have a lot of meetings. ugh
  anyway so thanksgiving was AWESOME. it was a blast, and by that i mean i relaxed the whole day and didnt do anything. we drove over to vanadzor around noon and hung out in the Haglunds apartment, we were squished but cozy. our zones pretty small and im not super good friends with any of them but theyre all awesome missionaries. i spent most of the time talking to the two sisters from new york about how awesome the east coast is. we had a pretty good dinner, turkey and mashed potatos, candy yams, that sorta stuff. watched a movie, talked about what we're thankful for. it was a needed break. 
   anyway not too much else to report from the week. we found two new investigators this week. one man invited us in right off the street, he was the first id met in a while that literally knew nothing about us, had never even heard the word Mormon. That tends to be a blessing, and it was. when his friend walked in he said hey these guys are talking about Christ. I LOVE when we hear that. sure Mormon is important but he is not the cornerstone of this church and the Savior of the world. they both kissed the pass along cards with a pic of Christ we gave them haha. anyway we're hoping to pick up their families this week. our other investigator isnt doing well but the father of a family whos all baptized came back to church and he's super close to baptism. i can feel we as a district are really close to great things here in Gyumri, just a few last steps to charge and a few screws to tighten. but we'll get there. 
  oh by the way this internet place has an Xbox with Kinect and its cheap to play by the hour. you guys dont mind if i play FIFA next week instead of writing? k thanks. 
i love all you peoples. we'll chat soon
Love Elder Moore

Monday, November 25, 2013

tanskgiving

Family and other family known as friends, 
  First off, we will get to do thanksgiving this week. armenians cant do their THs so i gave up saying thanks and started saying tanks. dont make fun, you cant do your KHs and GHs and hard Chs Ts Ps and Ks. i learned to roll my Rs. Street cred. anyway today we're cutting pday short cause thursday we're headed to vanadzor, we'll be celebrating as zones, so itll be us 12 northerners and the senior couple the Haglunds, who are amazingg, will be making our turkey. then we'll watch movies and relax. im stoked. but i already know halfway through the day ill be bored and just want to go do missionary work. 
  this week was a fun one. kinda, i dont know why i lable it fun but it certainly wasnt bad. we visited a lot of members, theyre great. we found a new investigator thats a young man, doesnt smoke or drink, came to church 3 times already, and accepted a book of mormon and a pretty quick baptismal date in armenia (the 7th) all was superb, until the second meeting- he didnt remember a thing. then we read from the BoM with him and watched the JS movie and he didnt remember a thing from that either. he kinda fell asleep while i was talking directly to him. my armenian accent is dull, but its not THAT dull. anyway that was discouragin and a setback but he's still a good kid who can get baptized and itll be a good opportunity to actually adjust our teaching to meet needs. 
   this week we went to Artik, a city about 35 minutes away with the Haglunds to go visit a member whos the only member there and rides a bus for an hour to go to church. we were excited, but it turned out not super well. the womans mother, who we're pretty sure has alzheimers or something of the sort, came out of her room and wouldnt stop screaming at us to either give her money or leave. she kept hitting her daughter (the old ladys 85, the member like 35) then she got pretty close to hitting me with her cane, so branch pres, who drove us, kept telling her to kiss me. thankfully she did neither. it was kinda funny, then just sad. esp since the member told her the rest of her family was like that too, and that explains why the member is a litttlee bit crazy, so we were just sad for her. after that we visited another small city nearby and got an inactive to come to church this week though so that was good. 
 theres not too much else to report. its pretty dang cold outside. im gunna buy a hat today, im also having a members mom make me a sweater. clothes are super super cheap here in gyumri, so ill probably spend a little more than i should. our apartment is actually too hot though, elder christensen says hes cold while im falling asleep during study cause its too stuffy. so we'll have to fight about that. hes awesome though its good to be back around him. itll be a good opportunity for me to slow down and not dominate every conversation. ive only served with good speakers and after my training i still dominated conversations. elder christensen is pretty timid but i'm working hard on getting him into everything, esp cause he knows the place so much better than i do. 
  lately ive been enjoying a frustrating study of faith. ether says there is NO witness until a trial of your faith. so i've been studying stories where it seems like the opposite happens, where it seems like a straight up witness followed by believing, and trying to shift my prespective of faith. some people refuse to believe until some neon sign, but i feel like i dont expect any witness because my faith isnt strong as the neon sign equivalent. ive been working on simpler faith and looking for the simple miracles to follow. 
  anyway ima split. i love you all, im jealous you get to go to grandma jeans this week for so many reasons. but im so grateful for all of you. the picture im attaching is of our gratitude board- we had a white board just chilling in the hall so we decided that we were being too ungrateful and put up pictures of our families and friends, our other awesome missionaries we love and most importantly the baptisms and close armenian friends we've been blessed with. i love the board. and now we're gunna go fill it. 
 nuff peace n hair grease,
Elder Moore

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Brrrrrr

Dearest Untanik yev Unkerner, 
   Well my quick email yesterday kinda gave it away but i doubt anyone is actually able to keep a mental picture of where i am. anyway i've moved north! Im going from down near the iran (or is it iraq? i dont remember) border up to Gggggggyumri (theres only one G, but it sounds awesome when you build it up) its pronounced gyoomree. i was bummed to leave artashat. its a great ward with good members, but we really didnt get too much done so i wanted to stay and have another go. plus i lovedd that district. but now im north. its super different. Charentsavan was tiny, and Artashat was super simply laid out, so i had no trouble getting used to where everything was. but gyumris the biggest city after yerevan, and we live like a 45 min walk from the church. theres vans, but im always standing on them so i cant see out the windows. any the city isnt grid like or anything. so im still pretty lost. its DANG COLD. and only getting worse, snow hasnt come yet but itll come by the feet. no more white shirt days. its sweater and coat every time. im serving with elder christensen, who i was around in hrazdan during my training. we served together a bit cause our companions were the zone leaders. he was super quiet and wouldnt say anything back then. he's grown a lot since, but he's still not one to take over. so i have to make sure i dont dominate everything like i tend to. hes been here 6 months already, and he looves the place and knows it super well so i just follow him around and we do alright. 
 the main bummer thing about gyumri is its isolated. we're an hour away from the other 6 missionaries in our zone (we have 6 here in our district) and we dont have a senior couple close by like almost everyone else. no one comes to visit- zone meetings are in vanadzor, and thats the city on the way to georgia so anytime pres goes north thats where he goes. so its kinda like being back in Char. its funny, i wasnt happy to be isolated when i was in Char, but then i got out of my corner and realized i wanted to go back. but then i got used to it and loved it and now i dont want to go back to isolation. 
 so basically with that in mind and my new district, not feeling great about how i left artashat, and not wanting to move again and start over, i wasnt super excited to move. but i realized i was focused on all the wrong things, namely myself. so i decided to cut that out and go back to work. thats why i was happy in Char in the first place anyway, cause i was left to my work. so i just need to get back to working as hard as i can and ill be all smiles again. i hope i can. im confident i can. 
 we have a great branch here thats super close and really wants to become a ward. branch pres is awesome, he basically got back from serving a mission and then took everything over. i think hes 26, but he does a great job. he said the members are awesome, they just arent that into doing missionary work. and thats been a big focus of all our meetings as missionaries lately, so elder christensen and i are gunna get to it with the members. the church is super beautiful. and we have two investigators that are great potential. 
 so yeah, basically this week was a fair amount of introspection and realizing that everything else can wait and take its place, that the only thing i really want to do and will actually make me happy is missionary work. id just gotten away from that because the work wasnt going well at all. but i wasnt putting my all in anyway. so things are gunna change, and baptisms are going to follow. i can feel it in my bones. 
  i love you all soo soo much. my interactions with the armenians and with my other missionaries too just make me so grateful for the family i have. we'll be talking soon enough! basically ill be spending an hour instructing you all how to say armenian words without sounding like a fool. i dont want to come back and hear "so how was ararat" (with hard As, not long ones, its hard to explain, but it makes me laugh every time. ) everyone sounds like theyre doing good. good to see all the pictures, i specifically wanted the ones from alexs spirit week though. so send me those! 
kisses
Elder Moore

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hey Dudes

Dear Family in Friends, 
  Todays a quick one cause we were in vanadzor for zone conference with pres malm from teh area presidency, so we're doing pday tomorrow. anyway thats all,ill write more tomorrow. love you all
Elder Moore

Monday, November 11, 2013

hey errebody


Dear Family and Friends, 
   Not a lotta to report this week. Tuesday we had a good zone meeting. we got out, sat a marshutni van to the metro, rode the metro to the marshutni stop to sit one and ride the hour back to artashat, and then i realized i didnt have my phone. i asked elder chojnacki, who sometimes carries it instead, but i already knew he didnt have it. so there we were with no phone, knowing we couldnt go back to the Shat without it but not quite sure how to locate and get ours. a nice lady let us use her phone to "zangetsnel" meaning "to cause to call"- they call you, then hang up immeduiately not to spend their money, and have you call them back. they do it to missionaries a lot. anyway we zangetsneled the sisters cause theres was the only number we knew and they called president and found out i had left it in his car when he gave us a ride to the meeting that day. so then we had to take a taxi back up to the other side of yerevan to the mission home, then all the way back to artashat. so we got back at night and our taxi driver shafted us for a ton of money. so that was tuesday. wednesday and thursday we did some more service for our members, friday we ended up walking in the rain the whole day and saturday we ended up walking in the mud the whole day. sunday was stake conference but we didnt gather as armenia, instead our ward went to the closest branch in yerevan and we watched the meeting on skype there. skype. people. skype is good but it is not thatttt good. it was like listening to a dying radio through a tunnel. in armenian. and then we watched a video made for eastern europe where elder nelson and some 70s spoke- it was translated by old return missionaries whos accents were TERRIBLE. im not saying i couldve done better, even though im confident by my misssion's end i will be able to. but thats why i dont translate conference. anyway it made me refocus hard on speaking smoothly and trying to get the accent. 
  anyway thats about it. the transfer is thursday, hopefully we'll hear whats up by tomorrow. artashats been tough, it wouldnt be true if i said i was dying to stay here, but i know its a possibility and if i do it will be a good opportunity to recommit and work hard. we'll see what happens. there could be some significant shake ups. i have decided that if i do stay here im gunna throw myself into less active work. i watched The Work of Salvation in english the first time this week and a bishop mentioned that he felt the Lord wasnt going to give them new baptisms until they took care of the ones theyd already been blessed with. thats a huge problem here in armenia- lots of inactives, and lots of church records that dont even have their updated info. 
  thats all i got for this week, only one picture too but its a good one. i wish i had more to write. im still waiting on pics from the fammmmm- alexs halloween ones for sure, and i need to keep seeing my doggies. alex didnt write, the rest of it was good though. sounds like lanies havin fun. ill be jealous of everyone come christmastime, especially cause i wont be allowed to listen to rosie o donnell christmas special (im still working on getting that approved) but it sounds like an awesome time. 
 anyway i love and miss all of you and hope you have a great week. i love being a missionary, i cant imagine life without my mission. i hope you look for and see the blessings that Im confident the Lord is giving us as I serve. shat em sirum zez! tsavd tanem
lolve elder more (yes that was a lol on purpose)




me using a "tatik (grandma) broom" its all they ever use, and it forces you to bend over, so tatiks just end up stuck that way. anyway i had a good time. i think im going to come back to armenia and create a broom company

Monday, November 4, 2013

hey errbody im tired

Dear Family and Friends, 
  Not a lot to report this week but it's been an okay one. Not too much worked out but it was alright. The older guy that fell asleep during the Joseph Smith movie did accept a baptismal date, that was a great moment. Idk about others, but as a missionary i keep going all over the place with baptism. sometimes i feel like its this life changing event that people have to understand completely and other times its just the door, and people just need to get through the door so they can understand the rest. well obviously its both, but ive struggled to find how to explain that balance to people. but with this man it really was that simple- the church of God is back on the earth, but you need to join it to gain a remission of sins and eternal life, not just because everyone should find a church. he got it- he actually asked me how he could be cleansed from his sins, and how to know which church God wanted him to join. it was great. unfortunately he dropped us this week, hes moving to Yerevan and still working so he just doesnt have time. but hes a great man and once he moves we'll try to get him set up with the yerevan center missionaries. 
  other than that we didnt find too many people to teach, but we did a lot of service for our members. to be honest i was super annoyed when we first showed up- we were the first elders here in 3 years, but instead of being excited about strengthening the priesthood, everyone was like "yay, now we can send the elders to give blessings instead of us going, or yay now the elders can come do my physical labor the sisters couldnt" but i realized that while thats obviously the wrong attitude, service is the way into the members lives. its a great ward here, but we havent gotten a single referral in the 3 months here. but we served, and tried to chat up their neighbors, kept mentioning the ward activity, etc etc. it didnt work out, but i know it was more effective than just eating their food and then asking for a referral, and also more effective than just saying we'll go get our own investigators, forget the members. so that was good. i've done more service in the past 3 weeks here than i ever got done in my 5 months in Char, so its been a good feeling. 
  i got sick this week, maybe from being tired with all the service and being out in the cold. but i actually took it easy the next day instead of going out in the rain all day like the last time i got sick. so im fine now, not flu ridden for a week, although my voice is struggling to come back. its making me sound super weird when i speak armenian. no one understands me, its like im back in march. 
  i was stressed out this week but i found some awesome council in pres eyrings message from this priesthood session- he gave the story of how the good samaritan could be "the overstressed EQP" but i've decided just to call it "the missionary" since every missionary is working super hard and it never goes as well as it should. this missionary was breaking up little kid fights after our activity/ before the sisters' baptism, and then trying to stop their moms from yelling at each other. but pres eyring gave three promises that i realized i needed a reminder- we CAN feel the love the Savior does for the people we serve, there WILL be others to help, and the Savior will recompense ALL that we spend in his service. those gave me comfort. the third one i think we focus on too much, but i decided to do something more than dream of my mansion above and get back to working hard so itll actually be there one day. 
thats all i got from this week. theres only 10 days left in the transfer and thats crazyyyy. esp cause we're both new here so anything could go. the week didnt go much better, but theres some potentials here and there, and im committed to leaving this area better than i found it, so i can either recommit to another 3 months here, or leave it feeling at peace. 
 i love you all, hope halloween was awesome and fattening (did i mention im skinnier?) crazy how the time flies, the winter holidays are coming faster than i care to admit. 
sirum em zez. Astvatc zez het
elder moore


sorry but i never get sick of ararat photos. theres some great ones from this week that im not allowed to send!!!! blegh. i love armenia, but not the fact that its in eastern europe. sort of 

action shot! i think if i had held the axe at the bottom my hands wouldve gotten less torn up. but then i probably wouldnt have been able to cut it. and then the 60 year old crazy grandma lady we were serving wouldve made fun of me like she did elder chojnacki (i wish i could send pics of her chopping. shes great though)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hey!

Dear Family and Friends, 
  Hey! I love all you guys. Lots. 
 Not a ton to report this week. We ended up doing a lot of service for members. We're working hard to get hometeaching organized, thats non existent right now in Armenia. The stake president asked us to get it organized so that when we go to visit a member we can take the hometeachers with us and show em how to do it effectively. 
 Other news in the church here is this weeek I realized most of our priesthood holders, as great as they are, are super old. Like we're talking Papa Bleyl old (sorry just couldnt resist the shot) no really though Brother Bleyl is young and fit but these guys are old. Like discussing whether they were born in the 30s or the 40s haha. Okay theyre not just strutting around in walkers, they're all healthy for theyre age and arent thatt old. But this week we were given the records of all the young single adults on record in our ward and asked to invite them all to institute and an activity. Of the 121 YSA on our records, maybe 6 were active. Half had married and no one knew, the other half havent been to church in years. Apparenlty when the church first started here they were paying for kids books and tuition, so people just got baptized for that. thats a whole nother topic that really frustrates me, but the fact is the church does not have a foundation here, between people moving to russia and america and there just not being many young people in the church. so thats a problem. but it just makes me that much more grateful for the families like the one we baptized in Char, and reminds me to stay focused on that goal. 
  other news this week, I got to serve with elder marco again on tuesday. super good to get back with a good friend and old companion. we had a good time but he also set me straight. no surprise i was feeling super negative about the work and my companionship. he accepted things werent great, but helped me realize i had been super ungrateful and focusing on all the wrong things. Ironic, cause thats what i was wanting my companion not to do, be so negative. so this week has been better, from me but also from him. we're having a better time. the work itself continues to move slowly, we do have one man who likes the church. hes just not really focused and doesnt quite understand what he's supposed to do. he fell asleep while we watched the joseph smith movie haha it was noon! inch anenck (whatre ya gunna do?) but we have some decent potential here and there. 
  only other news from this week was jermuk! monday was super awesome. it took a long time to get there and back, but it was awesome. we left around 11, drove 1 1/2 hours to noravank, which is super pretty. the steps in the picture were actually scary, super skinny and tall. but way cool. from there we went to yeheknadzor (when we skype for christmas ill explain how to pronouce what youre reading) and had dinner with our crazy strong member. she tried to invite people over, and when they bailed she kept telling them crazy stuff (one day you'll regret this at judgment, sorry, I thought you wanted salvation for you and your loved ones, etc etc) shes a slight bit crazy, if she wasnt she wouldnt sit a van for 2 hours to church and 2 back. from there we went together to jermuk, which is absolutely beautiful. its a giant lake and waterfall, and it has a factory where they make the product (theyre famous for bubbly water- i hate it) and then they had these pipes coming out of the ground where the water is naturally hot, and they have it in different degrees- the hottest said it was 130 degrees farenheit. idk if that was true, but it did burn me haha. but people think it has healing powers, so they buy mugs and just drink like 95 degree water like its nothing. it was kinda gross, hot and metally. anyway it was a super fun adventure day. 
  i love you all and hope you have a great week! this transfer has about 2 weeks left, who knows where ill go/stay, but we'll see if i cant get something good going this week. 



this flower thing is a drain, when the waters high enough it falls down from all around you. apparently it feeds lake sevan







 

 



So thats the churches at Noravank


 
and this is me at the Yeheknadzor sign
the first letter is a Ye, when it starts a word
the second letter is a throat h
the Ye again, but in a word just a normal e,
then a G that sounds more like a k
then a N
then a A
the one that looks like a 2 is a dz
the arch thing is a O
and then an R

Monday, October 21, 2013

Eshuh tsehits hanum em

Dear Family and Friends, 
   eshuh tsehits hanum em means "im pulling the donkey from the mud" its how the armenians describe learning the language, they looove it when you say it. i usually follow it up with "i've pulled the donkey from the mud, i just need to clean it off" they think thats hysterical. 
  anyway thats kinda how the work feels right now. we had to drop our investigators, it was sad cause they didnt seem to upset about that. havent found too many people to teach lately. there are always people with potential but that need a lott of work. and thats fine, but they dont really want to do the work or make the time or something like that. so its tough. we've been trying to increase our efforts to strengthen the ward but they've been busy. its weird, it seems like people in armenia are all busy at once and then all free at once. maybe its just me. 
  anyway thats about it. the works been tough. i've been here two months in artashat and even though theres a good ward set up its still been a rough start brining elders back for the first time in two years. my comp and i are struggling to stay on the same page, esp with attitude. a negative attitude is killerrr to missionary work. and regardless of how close to home you are, the time will drag on until that day if you dont use it right. I love being a missionary though and love the people and i know if we work hard the Lord will bless us as we finish up this transfer. 
  today we're visiting a member who lives in Yeheknadzor, which is 2 hours away from artashat- im not really sure how she found the gospel, i know she comes here occasionally, but shes one of the strongest members in armenia, holds a stake calling, and comes 2 hours each way for church atleast twice a month. its crazy what some people will give up for what is important. we dont get to see that a ton here, but when we do see it its inpsiring. anyway we're using pday cause on the way to her house is Noravank, a sweet church, and then we're gunna go to Jermuk with her which is apparently gorgeous. and she's gunna try to set us up with a meeting or two. it seems crazy, but if we can find people who will take the trip with her to come to church, the gospel can slowly spread there and eventually itll be big enough for missionaries. here's to planting seeds. 
  anyway love and miss you all tons. love hearing from home, give everyone my love and good tidings (is that weird? i have no handle on english phrases right now)
love elder moore

Monday, October 14, 2013

meow


Dear Family and Friends,
  I haven't meowed in a while. Actually I have, there's plenty of cats out on the street, but I've found it difficult to incorporate meows into the Armenian language. I'll work more on that. Starting meow. 
  So anyway, when I said I didnt want to hear about conference that didnt mean dont write me! Ha guilt trip. No worries, good stuff this week. And I did get to watch conference. Watching 6 hours with an hour or two break is kinda rough, and then 4 the next day with no break, but it was still awesome. I personally loved the talk on meekness, the one (priesthood?cant remember) about being a better teacher, I liked Elder Bednars tithing talk, really loved Elder Scotts about the people of Ammon, and LOVED all the first presidency's talks, especially Pres Monson. So inspiring. and of course i noticed the focus on missionary work- i felt like 2 other speakers mentioned it well, and then Elder Ballard came in and crushed it. His was so good. Anyway Ill try not to preach, but the need for member work is very very real, and i love what he explained about people not understanding that their duty is to just get people to the missionaries. I wish I'd realized how much better missionaries are suited to teach the gospel to my friends that had questions. i know if we can live good examples, people will notice, and when they ask, as long as we arent super weird in introdcuing the aspect of meeting with the missionaries, they'll accept. Anyway I also noticed 2 apostles addressing the role of women, and heard there was some craziness around Priesthood session related. Its sad that has to happen. 
   Not too much else going on in Artashat, but this week my testimony grew about the Love of God, and I wanted to share a lil bit. Armenias tough, no bones about it, its tough to help people accept the gospel and missionaries face a lot of negativity. there are a number of older missionaries in our mission who havent faced that in the right way, and its weighed them down, and now theyre really negative and its sad. i caught myself being too negative lately, not loving everyone, and thinking of ways to just make them understand. but in my studies i hit verse after verse that God loves all His children, and I realized i needed to develop greater love and get back to that focus. two weeks ago I was studying and read the classic verse in Matthew that we need to love our neighbor as ourselves, and I realized something new from that verse- if we can't love ourselves, how can we possibly love others? if we look hard we realize those that are hard on others, at their cores, are harder on theirselves. i suffer that all the time. in looking for ways to love others as God loves them, i realized i needed to remove the obstacles in my own life to feeling His love more. Sometimes we just need to give ourselves a break, because we're far from perfect, and a work in progress. I love what Pres Eyring said once "we never need feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord's service because we never are" its true, we should be able to feel loved regardless of what were doing, but we're constantly taught that if we serve others and lose ourselves we will feel that love so much more. i have a testimony of that. 
 i was doing a baptismal interview this week for a 9 year old kid, who acts like a 6 year old kid, with the terrible 2s. Basically he's one of the more char (evil) kids i've met in a while. but his mom just got baptized, and he wanted to, and the sisters told me he was doing a lot better and being a good kid. trouble is, he's kinda scared of me, and had just come from karate, so he was nuts. he refused to pray, gave me all the answers i didnt want to hear, and told me he didnt want to be baptized. i knew he did though, so with a lot of patience and some help from his mom i got the right answers out of him (he told me for a good 15 minutes that he was going to drink tea) and then they left the room for me to decide. as straining as the experience was, and my pride kept telling me just to tell the kid he couldnt get baptized, just to "win", as soon as they left I felt the love of God for this boy. (I wont type his name, but it literally means "piece of fire") and I felt the love of God for me, and that God was happy that i had sat patiently, and that PieceofFire was getting baptized, because that's what all His children need so they can come back to Him. 
  I love you all, i love this work, i love the gospel and Savior, and I love the country and people of Armenia, as well as all the great missionaries who labor here with me. Its crazy how love changes people
have a great one
Elder Moore




Oh yeah
so crazy story- our washer was messed up and wouldnt open. i pulled the door release without realizing i needed to drain the thing first, then tried to drain it and some other stuff happened, long story short there was water all over the floor. like atleast 5 gallons. after 3 towels didnt do it we didnt have anything else, and we were going to yerevan for 2 straight days the next morning and didnt want to leave it wet, so we decided we had to leave the door to the balcony open all night and let it air out. its gotten to be winter here, and i still dont have a blanket cause it was so hot notlong ago... it was a long night. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

winter time








Dear Family and Friends, 
  Its certainly not the extent of winter that it will eventually become in Armenia, but it did get cold overnight. im continuing to hold out, wearing long sleeves until its cold enough to put a suit and a winter coat on. idk how bad it will get here since we're so far south, it wont be the north with 2 constant feet of snow and zero temps. but it will get cold its looking like. anyway
   this week was a hectic one, we had zone meeting in yerevan tues, wed i was in yerevan on exchanges with our assistants, then thursday pres carlson came to artashat and did interviews. saturday we were in yerevan at that giant flea market all day. i didnt take any money on purpose, and i was glad i did cause theres awesome stuff. but im amassing a list for the end of my mish that will only cost a few thousand dollars.... 
 other than that not too much happened. the investigators we have arent progressing, they dont understand the importance so they dont show at meetings a lot, but you cant explain the importance if you cant meet. its a frustrating process. we found two new people to teach, a nice older couple, and their neighbor seems interested too, but they only want to listen, they dont want to go to church. we'll keep working with them for a bit though. thats kinda been the theme for the first half of this transfer- good people with potential to be solid members, but they just require a lot of work and you can see it from the start. and thats fine, but they're all busy. 
 Pres Carlson has started asking the missionaries to all join him in kneeling prayer at 10 every night, and especially to pray that we will find new people to teach- its been the main struggle of our mission, and while every number is a soul and child of God, it is kinda a numbers game. the more new investigators, the higher the chance some of them will make it to baptism. so as a district we're working hard to make sure we do everything to actually make those prayers happen- talking to everyone has been a struggle, and asking for referrals. PMG says it like 15 times (i counted, to prove it in district meeting) to ask EVERYONE for referrals- then when you get one, ask for another haha. but its just so clear that this work has to move through friends, members or non, because its so much easier to start off through someone you know than to meet 2 crazy americans on the street that are shivering and dont speak well. the armenians have a connection with each other that ill never be able to describe and will never see between americans. its amazing to watch it work in meetings. and sometimes it means theyre too close and get in fights. but thats exciting too. 
 anyway thats all, the works moving a little slow but im still progressing as a person and appreciating every day i get to be here. love you all

Monday, September 30, 2013

So Little Time



Dear Family and Friends, 
   Hey erreboddy. Todays a little weird, we're doing email and groceries but then going right back to work, cause this Saturday we're going to Vernasage- I might have explained with Elder Maughan, but at the end of the mission misisonaries are allowed to swap one pday for a saturday and go to vernasage, a massive flea market in yerevan.elder chojnacki is not at the end of his mission, he leaves in february, but he and the other 2 elders in his group don't have any sisters to go home with, and apparently vernasage is lame in the winter, so they got permission to go now. at the beginning of my mission i would be stoked to go somewhere all saturday and buy cool stuff and then eat at a restaraunt. but i've already been, i spent too much on stuff that i have to take with me all my mission now, and i just want to do missionary work. plus this week was a long one and i was looking forward to a few hours to sit and recharge, but itll have to wait. 
  anyway like i said it was a long one. tuesday we were in northern yerevan for district meeting for weird reasons, and we took transport (bus, subway, transport van) back instead of a taxi- we argued about that, then we got home at 6 and got nothing done, so i was annoyed. wednesday i had to go to yerevan again for another meeting, not anyones fault, but then we were late getting out of the building cause we needed to stop chatting with others and we got home late again. the rest of the week things just didnt work out, we couldnt meet with our investigator except for once- it went well though, he goes to a kinda crazy church that believes in the gift of tongues, but we got him to pray in armenian which was a big step. we met with the man who doesnt want to be rebaptized, taught the plan salvation, which he LOVED. Thought it was so interesting. hes in helaman- asked us about why he hadnt read about the day night day at Christ's birth in the Bible (its significant cause it means he's actually reading and understanding) anyway it went great, then we explained that only this church teaches the Plan and accepts the BoM because only this church is true, then the meeting blew up and went to trash. just a very prideful man that makes me sad. we're going to teach about prayer- he refuses to pray about if he needs to be rebaptized (he says that would offend God for thinking it wasnt valid, but he really just doesnt want the answer) anyway if we cant get him to pray then we wont have much left to do. our only other investigator is still harvesting grapes. the seeds were gross, the grapes were great. and yes i paid the price for eating so many. 
  anyway i say so little time because we really dont have much time to be missionaries. i saw that two days in a row and it ate me up inside, i was itching to even just get out on the streets to talk to people that would most likely not want to meet. a good friend had the same experience - they had to clean their apartment cause they're moving, then had some branch activity thing, etc etc. he said if he had done all that at home he wouldve been shocked he got so much done, but none of it was teaching investigators, so it felt like a failed day. this time really is special. the transfers almost half over (remember we do 12 week transfers) and not much has come about, and who knows how long ill stay in Artashat. but the Lord has promised our days will be enough if we try to use them right. 
  Lanes- dont assumed that I know what hsm means. Although im embarassed to say i did figure it out. 
  Zaz- Maxwells my favsies too, he loves to talk but such a great kid. the whole family is amazing though, the carlsons are just the bomb. tell em all i miss em! as for the mousetrap, dont use a fishing rod! we tried at it was illegal. dad helped (did) mine at the deadline, get advice from him and then get your group in gear. 
  Dad- the weathers cooled off and stopped raining. im back into my long sleeve shirts but still not a coat, which is my favorite (a little bite in the air, plus i look good in a long sleeve white shirt) tell abby hey. I know theres an armenian sister in temple square that comes home in october, she lives in my ward now so ill get to meet her. maybe its her. as for priesthood session- i thought theyd never do that cause only the men were supposed to watch it? was i wrong? interesting. 
  okay thats all folks. love all of you mucho mucho. oh and one final word DO NOT TALK ABOUT CONFERENCE! we dont watch it till the 12th and 13th, and i do not want to hear anything about it. write emails and save them as drafts, i know everyone forgets about conference after 2 weeks. k thanks. and dont wear my shirts. 
love elder moore