Monday, March 25, 2013

I'm on the Up and Up

Dear Family and Friends, 
  Haha k two things first- this computer's spellcheck says im spelling everything wrong because its functioning in Russian. 
2ndly- Pres Carter has made this mission a very obedient mission, and the success that's followed is evidence of that. my biggest fear in coming here was slowing the work even for 3 weeks due to inadequacy, so fot that reason (and others) i made a commitment to obey as exacly as possible- shocking, i know. anyway the only reason i bring it up is because of email. were told only to email family, so ima do it. sending the family email home to multiple people is no biggie, but im not going to send emails to anyone thats not immediate family, and ive also decided not to read anyone elses emails and respond to them in this, and same with letters. but idk if anyone has heard, but that rule is being changed. missionaries are being allowed more time and to email friends. i asked pres carter and he confirmed that salt lake was informing mission presidents the white handbook was indeed being changed, but he still needs to discuss it with his leadership first before he announces the change. so he asked me to just hang tight and it will change within 30 days so thats what im doing. Anywhoo
   Im in Armenia! Thats crazy. The reality of being here hasnt quite set in fully. whenever were talking to members or random people and they just stare at me i keep waiting for them to give up the hoax and talk to me in english.I should backtrack though
   We got here wed morning 6 am and went to the mission home. i couldnt fall asleep so i think i was up for like 72 hrs with like 8 hrs sleep or something ridiculous. we got 10 hrs of sleep that night though. we had meetings with the pres and the assistants. then we went to see the Genocide Memorial. That was an experience thats hard to describe. theres some very graphic pcitures there, and everything thats written is informatory but also very negative and accusatory. biased would be def a wrong word to use, but hopefully you get what i mean. i cant understand the nation's attitude towards it fully, but i think i understand how it still affects people today. everyone - seriously everyone- had family that was murdered or starved or deported or left homeless. and half the world wont recognize its a genocide because its better to have favorable relationships with Turkey. theres probably more behind it i dont know but it was a heavy place to be. i wish we were allowed to go there on the memorial day because they say the eternal flame is surrounded with thousands and thousands of flowers- you should look up pics- but the US wont recognize the genocide so were ordered to stay away that whole week because the Armenians def wouldnt appreciate us going. 
  After that we saw Hayr Mayr- Armenian Mother. You should also look up those pics, my camera was dead so i dont have any right now. it was a statue of Lenin during the Soviet times that they replaced. very huge, very cool. after that we had dinner and a meeting and went to bed early. 
  Thurs we had meetings about basic stuff like money and what not then we met our trainers, who introduced our areas. Before the meeting I saw Elder Marco- i've told you about him, he was in Chases BYU ward and hes a good friend- at the mission office for transfers. I had mentioned to Pres Carter that i knew him. Anyway its funny because now Im basically Elder Marco. Im serving in Charentsavan (where he was trained) and being trained by Elder Maughan (who just trained Elder Marco) and Char has been expanded to two sets of elders now, and Elder Marco is still here. So i see him a lot which is awesome. 
  Okay so onto actual mission work stuff. when we took a taxi to Char E.Maughan was talking to the driver and I actually understood an okay amount. then E. Maughan brought up church so i figured i would get more. turns out the driver started talking about a vision he had where he saw his neighbor murder someone and wrap up his body and dump it in Lake Sevan- he then had his neighbor arrested. Unfortunately i didnt study that vocab in the MTC. When E Maughan later explained it i laughed a lot. 
  When we go ut on the streets talking to people i still dont get farther than hi how are you. I've managed two OYMs -you bear a short testimoney about a gospel principle- so far, which is cool. one just wanted money, the other didnt care about anything.  
  Despite that the work is on fire here in Charentsavan. Elder Maughan is really great. He came here with Elder Marco and helped a branch that was dying to get somelife back. He's training me, he's a zone leader, and a member of the branch presidency, which consists of the BP who's been a member 2 years and doesnt want to do his job, so everyone hates him, and another new member whos young and reminds me of a priests quroum member, just goofin off a lot. Theyre both good people though, and the backbone of the branch is Armen. he converted 8 or 9 years ago after he was in a car accident- he was on hs way to beat someone up for the mafia- and now he's incredible. seriously incredible. everyone in the branch has come through him, and whenever were in a tough spot he bails us out. hes awesome, and super nice to me. he always makes me bear my testimony if ive been silent during a lesson. 
Anyway we have a few awesome investigators were focusing on right now. Armic is an old lady who was supposed to be bapized 7 yrs ago but had a heart mumor during her bapt service and then fell away.  but shes back and even strnger and getting baptized this sat unless something major happens. we also have a family of 3 that has a date for april 13 but wasnt making the right progress. but the past two lessons have been huge improvements and were hoping they tep up and make it. and we also have a man named Caren who has a testimony but isnt being diligent in trying to change. he's also improving though, so were hopeful. pray for them! 
  Thats all I have for now. This place is great. run down, kind of sad, and very cold, but great nonetheless. Im still overwelmed and not sure i can do this for two more years but im improving and trying to be patient, and i know im being helped. so yeah thats that, the church is true and awesome, and im stoked about trying to strengthen it here in Charentsavan. 
Love you all

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

bari galoost hayastan

Dear Party People,
  Oh hey it's ya boy yerets moore here in the middle eastttt. Were here in the mission home and they're letting us send a quick email home to prove that the picture they sent you wasnt just photoshopped. hopefully you got it.
  So I talked to you monday afternoon, and to be honest that actually feels like 12 days ago. after that we hung out a bit, talked to random people, etc etc, then boarded what would be the worst plane flight of my life. we flew Austrian Airlines, and I'll probably never do that willingly again. the plane was super crowded, the flight crew were all rude, there were a bunch of loud Europeans on the flight, and screaming babies, and bad food, and rarely anything worked, and the seats didnt recline. they were supposed to, but didnt. so i sat there uncomfortably for 10 hours through the night and didnt sleep. it was a pleasure to get off that plane, but then we realized we were stuck in the Vienna airport for 14 hours. it was better than the flight, but still pretty bad. i didnt eat anything since it was all expensive, there were no water fountains since they want you to buy it, and basically everyone there hated us or looked like they did. the one good thing was they had these weird couch looking things. we didnt get a gate so we'd pick a random one and i'd sleep for about an hour, then wake up and realize that there was a flight there and a bunch of europeans staring at us so we'd move to another. eventually we got a gate assigned so we went there with like 6 hours to go. eventually it filled up with all Armenians, turns out they didnt like us either. Idk if they recognized us or figured it out from our tags or just dont like Americans in suits, but we got a lot of death stares and could hear them talking about us. and the few people we tried to talk to in Armenian just switched over to English and told us we were wasting our time. that was nice. anyway after what felt like 4 days we finally got to board the flight. i've never felt so small- we couldnt talk in Armenian even with each other because they werent fans, and they knew english, and we were exhausted, so everyone just sat there and shut up. it was a 3 hour flight and i slept maybe half the time. we got into Yerevan at 5am local time. i got through customs without any hiccups but a sister got held up for something dumb. anyway they brought us to the mission home, i couldnt fall asleep so i didnt. we had inital meetings with President Carter and the assistants- they're all super awesome. Pres Carter is seriously the man. the assistants seem like awesome guys. they seemed like kids they were so excited to see us. Anyway today we're going to the Armenian Genocide memorial, then tomorrow they'll have the trainers assigned and we'll meet them and go to our areas. so hopefully i'll have a lot more to say on Monday. So far the Armenians that we've met here in the country are much nicer. the ones that can afford to fly out of the country are a bit arrogant i think. anyway that's all i got. love you all

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Last email Baby

Dear Family and Others, 
  We got em baby. We got em. On time too and everything. Here goes:
Monday we'll get up at 3am and go check out, take a shuttle to Salt Lake for our flight that leaves at 745 am for Dulles DC Airport. Bout a four hour flight. We'll be there from 2pm DC time to 7pm DC time. No one will pick us up and take us to walk around the temple, which is unfortunate because I always brag about how big and beautiful it is. And no, you may not come visit. Anyway I figured I'd call from that airport. I could get you guys before school starts but I doubt it and i wouldnt have as much time, so I'll call after schools out. Tyler should email me and let me know when's a good time for him if he wants me to call. Anyway after that 5 hour layover we'll take a flight to Vienna Austria. I think its about an 8 hour flight. We will sit in the Vienna Airport (again, no one comes to get us, no biggie) from 9am until 10 PM. Yes, thats a 13 hr layover. Start praying for us now, because apparently all the food in the airports in Europe are crazzzy expensive. Plus were all gunna be tired and nasty. But you're talkin to the guy that drove nonstop from VA to UT in the same clothes and only ate McDonalds. And wore the same compression shorts for the entire trek. So I can handle nasty :) Anyway at 10pm we board a flight to Yerevan which is like 3 hrs ahead. If all goes as planned we'll show up 4 am Yerevan time on Wednesday. They'll pick us up and they've said they let us sleep for like 6 or 7 hrs before we start the day, some meetings and stuff. Rumor is we're at the mission home all Wed and Thurs, but we'll see. Anyway obviously that's exciting news. We were super stoked to get them, everyone got visas and junk. Email me today if theres a more convienent time to call than 4pm your time monday. 
  What else from this week- daylight savings. Worst idea ever. Like foreal. That was possibly the worst sunday ever. The worst part is that it actually makes it darker for us missionaries that step out the door at 7 to walk to class. So our 30 sec of sunlight were taken away by the rest of you selfish people that sleep till 8. 
  I still havent gotten the package. Hopefully today. 
  This week has been normalish so far. Everyone's having a hard time focusing. Our teachers share good stories about what they did to focus on their last week of the mission and work to the bell, go home knowing you gave it everything. But that's harder for us sitting at desks and thinking about the actual mission thats about to start. Im so excited. Im excited to be terrified. Sitting in Vienna, no one else is going to be waiting for a flight to Armenia but Armenians, and us. no one else visits there. So that's gunna be frightening. Im excited thought. Im excited to be terrified to talk to people and board taxi vans and stuff. Im jsut gunna go for it though. My first line to anyone will be that I speak awful Armenian and hear it even worse, so please go slow. im really good at that line. If they hate me for being a stupid American trying to change their religion, thats fine. I wouldnt like me either if I was them. But apparently a lot of the people  are super excited that you actually speak some Armenian and wonder why in the world you've come there. I'll let you know which reaction is more popular next week. 
  Anyway this week we taught our investifakers for the last time. I think i did actually come to love the characters I taught, but it was also the fact that I love my teachers so much that made teaching the last lesson kinda depressing. Esp cause its not like you teach some grand finale, you just keep going and then leave. In the field that'll happen and you just have to try to get them ready for the next awesome missionaries coming to the area. Anyway we also had last gym time. i will miss organized basketball very much. and four square. not as much though. Anyway today we're packing and doing normal pday stuff, tomorrow is in field orientation all day. It sounds like a big waste of time to me, since all departing missionaries do it, so they dont tell you anything about your specific field... but then saturday is fairly normal, just more relaxed. Same with sunday, we'll just be packing. 
  I strongly suggest my family watch the new Mormon Message "Mountains to Climb" its awesome. and Pres Eyring is the Watch the video but also make sure to focus on the words he says and the message he's sharing. Its an important one in my mind. Anyway do that. it doesnt need to be a big deal or discussion or anything, just watch it please. I would also suggest you watch the CES devo from a few weeks ago by Elder Bednar. But its kinda long, like a 30 min message and itd probably be over lanies head. Idk. 
I love you all, hope to hear from everyone
CTR ring written in Armenian .. How awesome is that?

Here we go!

Ready to "jet"

I think Elder Mills is actually pointing to Iran. we want to sneak across the border and convert some crazies

we have my room- funny story
our room kept getting "acceptable" or "needs work" solely because of my half of the room, the other 2 clean pretty regularly. but i refuse to clean it just because someone tells me to and reads me a scripture. i clean it when i feel its necessary. so finally this lasy week they gave us two scores- them a commendable and me an unacceptable and left a note trying to make me feel bad about the 'mess' pssh, good luck with that.

Was thinking of Alex when I took these selfies
My desktop

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tomorrow will decide the fate of the free world

Dear Loved Ones, 
   When you first get to the MTC your badge has a nice bright orange sticker on it that says youre new. this is so leaders will take it easy on you incase you arent used to some of the rules. but what happens instead is all the missionaries that think theyre hot stuff after learning 2 weeks of spanish greet you with a "hola, bienvenudos MTC blah blah" literally like 400 people probably greet you. anyway I have determined that they need to give you a blue or purple or whatever sticker after youve been here 2 months- not to demand respect, just to offer a warning. I've been here too long. Im very tired of this place and very excited to leave. if you annoy the crap out of me, there will be violence. just a warning sticker. 
  Anyway this week was pretty slow but now that its over, not too bad. typical. the teachers said theyve taught us all the big stuff (tenses, moods, cases, etc) and now its mostly review, a few small things we'll forget anyway, and teaching investifakers. we taught the Word of Wisdom for the first time last week. didnt go well haha. apparently everyone and their uncle in Armenia smokes. except the women, its very shameful. so naturally our female investifaker was the one woman in Armenia who smokes. and drinks. and loves tea and coffee. but those problems are worldwide. i just hate when people in my district try to say that you shouldnt need a reason to keep it other than its a commandment and you love God. true, sure. but we're talking about people who have basically built an addiction, have no work, and pretty bum lives. its hard for anyone to keep the right perspective and keep commandments, its probly super hard for them. but if you explain the doctrine behind it, not just obedience for obedience's sake, they might be more likely.
  second thing that annoys me- when people (investifakers who are based off real people, or people at home, or me a year ago) say they arent living exactly how they should because they arent sure if its true. THATS WHEN YOU NEED TO LIVE HOW YOU SHOULD. My fav scripture this week in John 7:17- if any man will do His will, he will know whether it be of God or whether I speak of it myself. You arent sure the church/ this commandment is true. thats great. how do you expect to find out if you dont put it to the test? sheesh. and the problem is people assume the test is just a quick prayer at night. everyone that taught the WoW this week heard "well I'm not going to give it up, but I'll pray about it and then maybe if I find out its from God" Chances are God isnt going to give you your answer by showing up and telling you, or even putting a voice in your head. He's going to answer you when you live it and then realize the blessings that show up in your life. True for any principle, and the church as a whole. Im confident at least. just a quick rant to make everyone annoyed that I am becoming that preachy missionary. 
   got letters from jed, sarah kemer, lauren, Chris, and Leslie. Hoping I can get responses all out today. I also got the boots- they are awesome. SOOO warm. and just the perfect size thankfully. Im stoked to use em. I got the memory book from Sis Anderson. that was really great. super super great. and i got the eagle scout watch! ah i love it. its perfect. i also got aunt kat's package- idk how no one has never thought of putting mint chips into choc chip cookies. or maybe thats always been a thing and no one ever told me. they are amazing though. they got devoured by my district everyone loved them. i really loved the applesauce too. and thanks for more mac and cheese, i think i have as many as I want now. 
  Haha Tyler sent me JDawgs- I was craving it. He can tell you the story. but basically he sent it sat and I didnt get it till wednesday hahaha. but i thought itd been sent tues so heck yeah i ate it. shared it too. the initial results of eating a 4 day old hot dog are promising- just the normal result any hot dog brings. but we'll see if we have ebola or zombie disease or something. i also got his cds, they look awesome. 
  What else. tomorrow we're supposed to get flight plans. Im stoked and nervous. our teachers have been telling us that everyone gets visas there, the last groups have had 0 problems, etc etc. but thats what the Swedish and Norwegian missionaries currently here also heard- only 10 of the 40 swedes got visas, and like 3 or the 12 norways. that doesnt mean i think we'll get rejected, just that i wont be sure until we have them. 
my mission home address-
   Elder Jeremy Moore 
  Armenia Yerevan Mission
   Vratsakan #5
   0051 Yerevan
That should go in the church program thingy soon. Im set to leave March 18th, which is a monday, and itll probly be at like 4am, so make sure people are aware if they want to send dearelder, FRIDAY before will be the last day. cause they dont print on weekends. 
  Anyway everything else is going pretty well here. Im still sticking to my goal to finish the BoM before i leave (i started when i got here but havent pushed it hard enough) so now its up to like 20 pages a day but im keeping it so far. Its actually more cause I want to be done before I go to the temple the last time next thurs. so we'll see. I also have made a new goal to have 15 verses of scripture memorized in Arm before leaving- they had us all do the first vision and james 1:5. I did Moroni 10 4 and 5 on my own, but now im gunna push it into overdrive. moses 1 39 and Alma 32 21 were both really easy. 2Ne 2 25 was a joke. john 3 16 and 17 was a little tougher. I also want amos 3:7, john 7 17, 1cor 15 21-22, and mosiah 3:19- thats gunna be a toughie. that'll be 15 verses though i think. maybe i counted wrong. 
  I did get the girls dearelders:
Lanie- is Livi actually getting better? what about chasing cars/people/ running up the street looking for friends? she's cray. i hope she isnt mellowed when i get home. tell linus to be good and happy. make sure you show them pictures of me all the time. hows HP legos going? 
 Alex- study harddd for the SAT. its a toughie. you can do it though, its in your blood to be a genius :P
  Last thoughts- politics has actually wormed its way into the MTC. just barely. with Obamacare, if our teachers work more than 20 hrs a week then theyre legally required to get extra benefits- so the MTC will just fire them. happening all over the place im sure. but basically on fridays and saturdays sometimes our teachers have to sprint to time out. starts up some heated conversations every now and then. the only other thing was some elder told me that since Obama had been encouraging people to take their money out of Swiss banks, Switzerland was rejecting all US visas. Dont know if its true, but he said 0 US missionaries were making it there. thanks dude. 
  Anyway I love you all. Like i said we're supposed to find out tomorrow about travel plans. if we dont get visas and were here another week or 2 to wait then ill probably sneak online and tell you. if not i'll just tell you about our flight sched and when i'll call next thurs. 
 Astvats zez het,