Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hey Everyone

 Dear Family and Friends
Gettin closer to the end! Crazy to think about Armenia and how we'll be steppin off the plane before I know it. I know fully well that I'm going to get out there and not know what anyone is saying or how to teach them- thats why we have trainers. But I also realize that I will not have anywhere close to the study time I have now, nor the AMAZING teachers I have now, so there's a sense of urgency thats entered my study. Which is good. 
  I got the grippers and socks- I LOVE SMARTWOOL. They are incredible. Sandy got me some for Christmas and they were awesome. These new ones are fancy! Much thanks to Grandma and Grandpa. I havent taken them off in 2 days. I havent gotten anything else yet but I havent checked mail today. We still havent gotten flight plans, I think we will next week, but the dept date is still March 18th. 
As for my flying pictures, I'll never share my secret so dont bother asking. Im surprised Tyler hasnt told you. Maybe he doesnt remember. Or maybe its just the brotherhood. If some dad ever asked me how his kid was flying in the MTC, I'd say its the Spirit. 
 Lots to say this week. First thing I want to do is address my questions from last week- a few people sent me answers (which is good, Im glad people pondered it) so I wanted to share what I ended up saying. 
  The Resurrection- I found a scripture (I think its in Corinthians, but I dont have mine with me) about how Christ was raised from the dead by the power of God's word- the same power that created the Earth. Basically, We have no clue. We know the Spirit probably has something to do with it. But I also have a scripture in Jacob, and one in Mosiah (Jed mentioned it, same page there) that talk about not trying to know the mysteries of God. 
  The Fall - I have no idea WHY Adam and Eve couldnt have kids before the fall. I dont know why having kids makes you imperfect, and unworthy to live with God- I dont think it does. 2 Ne 2 talks about how they were too innocent to know how to have children, but Arthur still wanted to know why. So I told him I didnt know, and that it didnt really matter. 
  As for Why God said to not eat the fruit, basically how can God "give us" our agency? We have to choose to have agency of course, if that makes any sense. God being a perfect God cannot command us to do anything that would make us imperfect- He tends to do just the opposite in fact. But its the only commandment He ever gives while also saying "you can choose for yourself"- in BoM at BYU my prof, Brother Parker, always said that eating the fruit was not commanded against, but eating the fruit AND staying in the Garden was not allowed. Im not sure if he's exactly right based on knowledge I now have, but you get the point. Many times we break rules to keep higher rules, and the most important was to have kids. But God couldnt command them to fall or He would cease to be God. 
Now, I didnt explain all that in Armenian. I gave my best effort, but then we read from Alma about faith- believing in things which are not seen WHICH ARE TRUE. Arthur, do you believe the scriptures are true? Yes- then you're gunna have to take the prophets word for it on some topics. Boom. Logicked- that's now a verb. I wasnt happy because I shut him up, I was happy because he actually got it. "He" (Im hoping the similar thing happened with the real Arthur) understood that we arent supposed to know everything. 
  Anyway that lesson  went okay- but we only got two words of feedback (normally we get 10 min) inz inch? (those i's are eee's) It means "what's it to me?" but not that rudely. saying kez inch, what's it to you, is very rude. Regardless, that was our feedback. Why should a 14 yr old kid care that two people ate fruit and then had kids- great point. We hadnt taught what it meant to him. So we came back to teach the Atonement, and basically "we" (spirit that we invited) crushed it. Ive never focused on pronouns more in my life. We always say Christ suffered for us. Forget that- Christ suffered for YOU. And would've done the entire process even if you were the only other soul in the universe. We told him that. We talked about his feelings- the real Arthur (he's prob 18 by now) had few friends, his only sister was at college, no brothers, an inactive mother that wasnt close to his alcoholic father. He told us that, and the Spirit was there. Elder Miller told an awesome story in pretty decent Armenian about how his best friend from high school died with his family in a plane crash- his dad was a pilot flying his family to vacation when they crashed. The story wasnt so powerful because someone died though- obviously that makes everyone more serious and thinking about it. But the story worked because it was from his life. We forget how impersonal we seem, missionaries from America wearing suits and ties all day and not telling stories from home and teaching lessons right out the book. Thats the biggest thing I learned to change this week. be real with people. it was a big moment, and a great lesson. 
   We hosted again this week, but I really didnt enjoy it. Basically I deal with crying elders and have to carry their suitcases that should NOT be that heavy (how many white shirts did you pack?) and carry them up stairs and these elders are freakin out cause they dont know what to do but I dont really have much to tell them. I just take em to their class and their teachers and then their leaders tell them everything they need to know. The highlight of hosting was seeing Sister Smith though, she was in my ward at BYU and is a good friend. And her cousin, Sarah Kemer was also in our ward and also a good friend- she's in Tyler's english class. Thanks for mentioning it, bro. :) Anyway it was great to see them and talk for a few. I wouldve hosted her but two jerks that also knew her took her stuff instead. 
  Dad asked about the schedule, Im gunna mail mine home for you some day. But basically I wake up at 630, prep till 7, go to class and read the Arm BoM till 730 (not mandated, just a choice), eat till 8, have class till 11- we teach investifakers, prep lessons, learn language and gospel stuff. language study from 11 to 12, whatever we wanna do, lunch till 1, gospel study from 1 to 2, then class from 2 to 5 (same as before, but with a diff teacher) dinner till 6, then gym/showers till 730. Then we do TALL (tech assisted language learning) till 830, then additional study- as a district we sing in Arm, discuss gospel principles, recite Arm scriptures from memory (I have the first vision, james 1:5, Moroni 10 4-5, and workin on John 3:16) and then listen to conference talks translated to Arm. Then at 930 we go to the rooms and do whatever till were asleep at 1030 hopefully. At first people didnt study and would nap and stuff, and sleep in and stay up later. Sometimes we still struggle with that. But we're looking to always make each other better so the scheds gotten a lot stricter so to speak. 
  Okay that's all I have I think- OH WAIT! Elder Ballard came Tues! He was great. K thats all. okay last thing. Elder Mills and I sang I Am a Child of God during sacrament- 1st verse engl, 2nd arm, 3rd he sang eng and I sang Arm. It went really well. it was fun. 
 K thats all. I love you all

Thursday, February 21, 2013

3 More Pdays!

Dear Fam,
  Holy cow we only have 3 more pdays. Thats nuts. And yet, it isnt. It feels like we've been here forever. I no longer meet anyone whos been here longer, theres a few that were here the same day but they leave earlier. So I think we're the veterans. Not like that means anything. Things are going fine. I settled in with a good group of guys to play basketball with. My lessons go a lot better, and my com has more confidence now. We tried teaching our first lesson ever about the Plan of Salvation in Armenian the other day. We actually taught twice the same day. A "14 year old" name Arthur basically, asked me 1. How was Jesus resurrected? like physically how is that possible 2. If God knew they should eat the fruit, why did he tell them not to? 3. Why does the Fall separate us from God? All in the same lesson. Sheesh dude. Take it easy on me haha. If anyone has 3 concrete answers to all those questions in English right now I'll be impressed. Much less Armenian. We've been doing a lot of class time and I've been doing a lot of personal study about the Plan- I think of the lessons its the one you have to know the best to be able to explain clearly and know that they understand it. Its really hard. And then they're like wait where are you getting all this from? And we explain its from our scriptures, not the Bible, and from prophets. So they're like thats awesome, show me where. Safe to say I do not know the scriptures well enough. Yet! Okay I never will. But Im progressing. 
  On a separate note, I have to apologize to my sista. Remember when we kept buying camelbak waterbottles and I told you paying extra money for a chewy thing on the end of it was stupid? I take that back. I got one from teh MTC bookstore with a chewy thing and I freaking love it. I chew on it all day long. Now that said, I only paid like 10 for it and I get 40% off at the bookstore and I havent lost or broken mine so I still win the argument. But I accept that the chewy thing is awesome. 
 I got a number of letters this week and I've lost track of what's what. I know I got cards from Sis Davidson and the Hoffmanns, both awesome. I got a much appreciated package from Matt's family and a letter from Chels. I got a letter from Jed, and a dearelder from Em Smart and Rachel. I think that's it but honestly I cant remember. The days blend so much and Im actually committed to my study time these days so I only write at night or pdays so if you dont get a response Im sorry, but you might never. Oh and Grandma sent me some bubble bath! Haha Im so stoked. Ima take one today (dont worry there will be appropriate pics) Also in regards to the boots, I vote for the ones from Dicks. My shoes are normally a 9.5 or 10 so idk for boots, maybe an 11? Thats my best guess. 
  I dont have anything else this week. Honestly the days are all the same. Thats not to say theyre horrible, just that they're all the same. Oh well
 Love you all. I might be on later today well see. Have a good week

I got to be a ghostbuster this week. fun stuff

Classic flying pictures

Tyler Andersen asked me to send a picture of the Armenian Flag

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hey Y'all

Dear Family and Friends and anyone reading, 
   This week was a lot better. Kindof. But overall better. Where to begin..
Oh first of all I love being southern. Im not even that southern, unless I've been hanging out in Georgia for Christmas for a week or so, but compared to everyone here Im pretty southern. The cafeteria had grits the other morning- I convinced my British friend to try some with me. We did grits with lots of cheese and butter, duh, then mixed in some iffy eggs and bacon. You shouldve seen his face before he tried it- he was terrified. Took one bite and he was in heaven. They werent even good grits or eggs or sausage. Thats how good southern cooking is, it can overcome crappy ingredients. The other thing is when we practice grammar- the word dook means you formal or you plural, basic for most languages. But anytime we practice I make sure we say y'all and not you plural. Crazies. 
   In response to the Armenian you sent me, thats incredibly offensive. Just kidding it was only incorrect, and it was kinda close. I cant type Armenian here in the laundry room but it would be doo kuh - leenes for you will be, then whatever adjective. That future tense is conditional too, to make it definite (I def will be awesome) you use "doo leeneloo es" Fun facts. 
  I hosted this week, meaning I picked up new missionaries from the curb and got them to dorms and class and stuff. I thought it would be a lot of fun - false. We got stationed at the bottom of the hill, farthest from the entrace building, and everyone lived on the top floor. But I always demand to carry all the luggage- new missionaries should be treated awesomely in my opinion. My arms were exhausted. The first elder I took got his luggage out and I wanted to ask him how many white shirts he was taking. Holy cow. It was weird to see elders with their families- at first I was like okay suck it up lets gooo but then I realized they hadnt been removed from their family for over a month yet. I didnt have to deal with any moms losin it too bad- with the first elder, they got the stuff out, took a pic or two, then Im sitting there holding the luggage and she's like "Okay what's next" and I try to say as brightly as possible, "now I take him!" She started to lose it then but nothing too bad. I made sure to thank all the parents for letting their kid be God's for the next year or so. 
  The one that took the cake though- this white truck pulls up and a sister gets out. She has two friends dropping her off. The elder next to me was there first so he takes her stuff. As she's walking up the hill I hear her say she's from Vriginia so I yell out no way- I've meet like 3 Va's here so far and there all DC's anyway. So she looks at me and I say Im from Richmond and her and both her friends yell at the same time "RICHMOND!" they apparently were in the Midlothian stake. But then she had to go and the other elder wouldnt let me take her and her two friends had to drive off to make room. It was awesome and then depressing since I couldnt talk to them. 
  Armenian steadily improves- we dont learn too much. I speak it a lot more during the day though and that helps a lot. Two screw ups I had in lessons this week, one of them pretty funny- we're teaching this investifaker named Artoor, its the 4th lesson and he's still too shy to pray in front of us. So we prep this awesome lesson, creating a need for him to do it (big thing I learned this week- if you can show them the need for them to, they might actually do it) Anyway we teach about the gold plates and the BoM and what it is and how he can know the truth about basically anything- then we ask him to pray. He says "Im shy, but do I only have to ask God that one question?" - I instead hear "I,m too shy, and I have to think of questions to ask God" so I plow ahead and challenge him to read and pray about it later that day- he accepts. But then Bro White explained what he'd actually said and that he def wouldve prayed. Bleh. So frustrating. But not that big a deal, just taught me not to assume I understand. The funny one was the lesson before that- he wouldnt pray, so I wanted to read him Mosiah 24:12- Alma and his people offered prayers in their hearts and God heard it. Perfect. Instead I read him Alma 24 12- The capital A and capital M look very similar, and we were running out of lesson time. It basically talks about their swords being bright with blood of their brothers. Casual. He reads it, looks at me, and I say in awesome Armenian " we REALLY want you to pray" I was surprised he kept a straight face- he didnt say anything till after and I bout lost it. It was pretty funny. 
   Our lessons are going a lot better, but Im in a dilemma. The new teaching comp I have is my actual comp and he's lacking in confidence. He stutters a bit so he always feels the need to repeat himself, and it takes him like 6 tries to get a sentence out. Plus everyone's grammar is still pertty bad in the moment. So he doesnt want to talk very much- we have a lesson plan like 2 days in advance and I say okay pick what you'll say and then I check in an hour before we teach and he doesnt have anything. So I teach the entire lesson, its only 20 min, and he testifies here and there. Heres the problem- the lessons are going really well. We have one fake baptismal commitment and the kid Artoor is coming along great. I dont think any of that is from me- our teachers realized this week we need a lot of help with how to teach the gospel, not Armenian. So i applied what we learned and its great. I dont think my teachers put me with him to talk the whole time and act like a senior comp, because its the MTC, they arent real investigators, and everyone needs a lot of practice. But i dont want to back to frustratingly slow and jumbled lessons. I'll let you know how it all turns out. 
  Oh by the way happy Valentines day. I thought it would be depressing but its actually better since I never had a girl on valentines anyway, now I just blame the fact that Im a missionary, not that women dont want me. I got a nice valentines card from the Dials. Sister Bleyl sent me valentines stuff a few weeks ago- those mint brownies never stood a chance of lasting. I actually shared a few with my friends (see I am getting better at Charity and loving others) but then the rest got destroyyed for breakfast lunch and dinner. I got the cookies Sis Anderson and the girls sent- the bread did seem to keep em freshy fresh but they got smashed up a lot. So now I pour some in a bowl with some milk and have cookie cereal. I got some other letters, all nice. If someone wrote more than 2 weeks ago and wanted a response and didnt get one, ive probably forgotten. I cant keep track of mail. But the trophy this week goes to Grandma for sending me SEES CHOCOLATES. Oh my gosh I bout fainted when I saw them. I hadnt even thought about them for years. I never offered them to anyone and they all knew enough to stay away. Those mineee and they are delish magish to the max at
  Few last things- The list Sis Anderson sent me looks pretty legit, I think that's everything. Except for bubble bath. But maybe grandma could send me that. The Armenian i sent you last week was 
God be with you
I love you all lots
I am Elder Moore
I want to be in Hayastan- thats Armenia
Love you all. If I think of anything else I might get to send another, I also want to send a few pics later. 
Love Jerm

Thursday, February 7, 2013

բարէվ ձէզ իմ ընտանիք. Hopefully that all shows up in  the email/on the blog. just means hello my family. I have nothing else to report except that we heard about the Super Bowl tues- crazy how isolated and locked down this place is. Even the teachers wont speak about it cause they know itll distract you. Anyway sounded like a good game.
  I leave March 18th according to my mailbox. Everyone seems to agree with that, no one's told us otherwise. But it'll all be cleared when/if we get our travel plans which is usually two weeks before so you have time to get a haircut and dry cleaning and what not. My teachers say they've never heard of anyone having trouble getting a visa to Armenia. Anyway the plan will most likely be to call home then assuming the hour isn't ridiculous- if it is I'll just call Tyler Im sure he'll be up. So you can hear my language and bad Armenian accent then. But hey you wont know the difference.
oh and here's everyones name (kinda) in Armenian. Atleast how I think they would spell it
կենեթհ - Kenet huh - its a hard K too. I put the H on the end and they might say TH but they dont have a letter for it so they might just say kenet
տայլեր - Tyler- they dont have an I like it sounds in your name, but the AY together make that sound
ալեքս- Ah leks- again, no long A sound.
իլաին Eee layn - this time I put an Ah and an I (that makes an eee) together, I think they would make the right sound combo
Մոր / մոր is our last name- the first has the M capitalized but I like the lowercase better. Fun fact- that word (sounds like more) means Mother's, or mother put into the possesive case. Therefore I am a Mother's Elder. Coincidence? Ha. I'm on a mission- I don't believe in coincidences.
  I shall leave you with these thoughts for the week
Աստված ձեզ հետ
շատ սիրում եմ քեզ
ես երեց մորն եմ
ուզում եմ լինել Հայաստանում

Well This is awkward

Dear Fam, 
  Nice to hear from you again... oh wait. Tyler wrote me atleast. And grandma. And my friendsies. Anyway I might be on the email again later today. First note- I will not be able to see Aunt Kat at the temple today. One of our new elders in our zone (he's Latvian, going to Greece) is getting his endowment today, so they reserved a session just for our zone and its at a diff time and I wont have time to chat. As far as anything I need, I cant think of anything specific. And if I do see you at the temple they wont let me carry anything back through the gates with me. The Mac and Cheese was MUCH appreciated though. Im so excited to eat some. And I love what Nick sends me. Those make me smile the most I think. 
   This week was tough, but better. I had two great interviews with my teachers and they helped me out a lot with my struggles. My studies are going better. I read Our Search For Happiness this week- its an awesome (and short) read that I recommend to all. It makes me wish I'd read it years ago before non member friends asked me questions about the church. I want to go back and just hand every one of them a copy, it explains things so simply. 
Its hard to explain how the language is going. I pick things up quickly, but theres soooo many aspects of the grammar that I usually mess up. And the vocab is endless. I feel confident in class but then I go to teach a lesson and I feel like a 4 year old. But its gunna be hard, duh, and I gotta keep pushin through. 
  The devotional this week was Elder Don R Clarke, he mentioned Guatemala so idk if Tyler knows who he is (he prob does anyway) but he was awesome. He looks like a nice old man, but he let us have it and made it very clear that we werent doing enough. But then he gave specific ways to be better, here and in the field. He talked a lot about retention, which is the number one prob in Armenia. It was nice not to just be yelled at and then given broad topics to improve- he showed us how it could maybe be done, and most of the ideas I'd never thought of. 
  So all week I was getting 0 mail and getting frustrated. I kept threatening my DL that if he didnt bring me some I'd do unspeakable violent things while he slept- still I got no mail, and since I was making a big deal out of it (kinda, but mostly kidding) they started calling me "Yerets Vosh Poste" or Elder No Mail. But then I got a nice letter from Sis Warnick and an awesome postcard from Sis Davidson (the postcard bit was instructions on how to kick down a door- I found it fitting) please make sure to give them my gratitude. And then the next day i got Katherines package, and letters from Clar, Tommy, Virginia, Lauren, and Alex. All super good. Anyway now they call me Yerets Shot Poste - you can figure that one out. Some of the letters dont have english equivalents but oh well. 
  Nothin else really happened this week- just studying and teaching, with breaks to eat and ball so hard. Some elders going to sweden came and I love playing with them. 
 I have one final addition to my package that will hopefully be sent before I fly home in 2 years- my cow onesie. Last I remember it was under my bed. If it cant be found it shouldnt hold up the package sending,  but i mentioned it to my district and they all demand to see. So I'd like that. 
 Much Love to all- seeroom em dzez, Astvats dez het
Yerets Moore