Monday, June 24, 2013

barev barev

like i said, this is to pres carter for his last letter. ill miss him so much

I wanted to thank you for sending me to Charentsavan. At first I just thought it was cool that I was in Elder Marco's district and working with him, while living in his old apartment under the same trainer. I liked Elder Maughan for being a good friend with incredible language skills and a lot of experience to learn from. When he left I was happy to serve with a good friend and knew we would have fun. But over the past few weeks I've grown so much more appreciation for why I was sent here. First and most important, I know I was sent here to help these people. To learn such love and patience for members from Armen's example, and to grow to love these specific people. The desire to help them has increased my drive to be completely obedient, to be sacrificial and consecrated, but ultimately to make my mission the life changing process I now realize it has to be if I can always live worthy of the trust of these Armenians, my friends and family at home, my future family, and the Lord. But I've also grown a great appreciation for my companions. I realized I was put with Elder Maughan to learn a lot through deep discussions, drawing on his experience, and shaping the way I want to do missionary work. But I also realized I was put with him to help him through his trials at the end of his mission. I realized I was put with him because I have the potential to be ready to help my trainer before my training even ended, and that the Lord was showing me my potential and hoping I would grow up fast and seize the opportunity. I've come to understand that I wasn't just put with Elder Marco to be with a friend, and since it was a logical solution with Charentsavan. I realized I'm here because Elder Marco and I are both going through hard times in our mission, and the friendship we already had has made it possible for us to rely on each other early and also be very straightforward and honest with each other, to help each other be the best we can be. 
   I want to thank you for all you've done for me in the short time I've been able to serve under you. The advice and comfort and love you've given me have helped me, but it goes beyond that. The mission culture you spent the incredible effort to establish and maintain is a mission culture that I desperately needed to be a part of as a young arrogant stubborn 20 year old kid thinking he knew exactly how his mission was going to play out before it even started. While I will embrace President Carlson with love and willingly adapt to any changes he makes, I will always remember the changes that have happened in my heart as a result of the mission culture you've created, and the incredible missionaries that are a part of it. I will forever be grateful, and I hope that you and Sister Carter have a good experience going home, feeling the immense love and gratitude this mission and the Lord feel for you both. I wish you success in all endeavors after this mission. I love you and Sister Carter very much. 

Another day another 250 dram

Dear Family and Friends, 
  Still not too much happy news, so just more fun stuff this week. I may be a bit scatterbrained, Elder Marco and I just got nailed with double bad news- I heard Alex Rogers is engaged (that can definitely stay out of the blog) but worse we just heard that Elder Marcos friend from high school that he sent his missionaries to, after first being really interested, says he found out its not true. So we're pretty bummed and a little distracted. Everythings really been piling up on us lately but were trying hard to stay patient and endure while learning. I feel like the climax of the patience test for us was yesterday- while expecting 7 or 8, no investigators came to church, and the members were the worst i've remembered in a while about being noisy and irreverent and not contributing anything. our recent convert whos the 1st counselor came late, left after sacrament, and stopped reading his scriptures. our recent convert whos the  2nd counselor is doing a lot better, so naturally he's leaving for Russia to actually get work (theres not much in Arm, a lot go to Russia- its a lot like Mexico and USA) He'll be there for 3 months. So church didnt go well. Then we had no meetings, and to top it off while walking around we had kids following us and trying to speak english. normally thats annoying but they give it up, but these kids followed us for a good 2 miles and actually interupted us while trying to talk to people. I felt like it was the ultimate test of patience.. but i felt that after we failed. we spoke to them strongly in armenian, and then in english, and then tried to outrun/out maze them around until we went to our apartment. it was embarassing how dumb we felt when it was all over and done. theres been plenty ive had to learn, but i think im in Char primarily to learn patience. 
   anyway on to fun stuff. i havent seen or heard about the missionary seminar thing. haha were still waiting to get conference magazines (we have seen it though, whew) as for internet stuff, i doubt well be included in that for a long time seeing as we go to internet cafes to email and thats the only internet around. but well see. i really dont want it to though. weve been on facebook a few times to help members get it sorted out (they like it, but dont use it very well) and it just always feels like a waste of time. not that i wont be happy to get back on and update everything and get reconnected, i just want that to be in 1.5 years when im released. i really have grown my appreciation for how special this time is that ive been given to devote everything. but what i will never get back and do is play Sims haha. that is not a good game in my mind. anyway. 
  i dont really have much to respond about girls camp, but i hope you girls know i do appreciate hearing details from the week even if i dont say much back. hope the summer is a great one. crazy things comin up in Armenia- Pres Carter goes home next week, July 2 is my 6 month mark, and the first sunday in July is Water Day, super stoked for that. 
  funny news from Armenia this week is about their superstitions/quirky things. kinda like finding headsup pennies and throwing salt and stuff. apparently if you have something in your eye/eyelash/brow, and someone notices but you dont, they ask you "which eye?" and you have to guess where it is, after making a wish. i was supperr confused the first time it happened to me cause i hadnt heard, and Armen just kept asking which eye and i wasnt sure if i was misunderstanding or had missed something that had just been said or what. 
second one is apparently if your nose itches it means rains coming. not much else to it, super weird. ha. 
  oh one question is about my camera, i was trying to figure out the panorama function at lake Sevan, and cant figure it out. maybe you could send me some instructions to print for the Nikon Coolpix S4300 panorama. i really do love this camera (sorry i dont send pics home more often) 
  Im gunna send you part of the letter i sent Pres Carter for his last letter from me, about why im here in Char. I wanted you all to read it. i really have grown such a love for my mission, since being here but also the time its been really hard has made that love grow. I mention the mission being the life changing process it needs to be- my vision for my after mission life has honestly shot up. not like MIT and being rich or being a 70 or anything, just what im going to expect from myself. i still want to go to BYU and have tons of fun and have fun at home and be a pretty normal person, but i also have new goals like reading a teachings book from every prophet, and how i want to spend my sundays, and mostly just the person i want to be. its honestly been great to have the Spirit in my life and have that raise my expectations of myself. now i have a year and a half to take the small steps every day that have to be taken to make me that person i need to be in 1 1/2 years, ready to keep growing. 
  i love you all very very much
elder moore

Monday, June 17, 2013

oh hey its my burfday

Dear Family and Friends, 
  Bday on a pday is super nice, cause you just treat it like any other day so i do get to relax atleast a little. Im wearing my bday tie, which is one from Pres Carter that he wore himself. Im eating my last precious box of mac and cheese to celebrate, playing some Nardi with Elder Marco, and napping. Armenians call down crazy blessings when its your bday thats been fun. I still havent gotten my package but i havent been to the mission office in a bit and probably wont go for another 2 weeks, but oh well. Anyway thats my bday, back to work. 
   A NEW STAKE IN ZION! We had District Conference yesterday, which became Stake Conference. Elder Nelson came to organize the first stake in the country he dedicated for the preaching of the gospel 22 years ago. What a blessing. Now we have a patriarch, so people can get their blessings without having to know Russian well enough. 5 new wards, Char isnt one but now were motivated to get the 10 more Melch Priesthood holders and activity we need to become one. It really was a special day and a great blessing. 
 I want to share something Sis Nelson said- with Ararat always seen from Yerevan, we are constanty reminded of the necessary baptism by immersion the Earth needed, just like we all need to be baptized by immersion. But unforunately after being immersed in water, we fail to immerse our lives in the gospel and instead only sprinkle sometimes. even if it can only been reading the Ensign, we need daily nourishment. 
  After conference we ate lunch and then had an even more special opporunity. The 60 of us sat in a small room with Elder and Sis Nelson, Elder Malm from our area pres, and the Carters. We all got to shake his hand and say hello, ask him some questions, and learn from his immense wisdom and all the others as well. It was incredible. Something I want to share from that meeting- he read D&C 31 with us, addressed to Thomas Marsh, but applicable to all. It says his family will be blessed, and Elder Nelson promised us ours were being as well. I know thats true, I saw it when Tyler served, nd Im confident the Lord blesses my family regardless of how not great of a speaker/teacher i am, and how inadequate i feel at times. I know He blesses them- what I want is for YOU, family, to take 2 min before nightly prayer and see the hand of the Lord in your lives on a day to day basis, and then be specifically thankful for that. 
  Anyway Sunday was amazing. Nothing was really done for Father's day unfortunately. Im so grateful for my dad, for the friend and support and example he is, and everything he does for our family. 
   Anyway other news. The work in Char is still struggling but we still remain optomistic. Funny story- We had visited a family on the 8th floor of a building and elder marco was overlooking the city from there when the elevator came, so i jumped in and closed in on him. It took a minute to get back up to the 8th floor. he asked why i didnt just hit stop and come back up faster, and i said i dont trust armenian elevators. to show i was being silly, he jammed the stop button (we stopped) but then when we hit a new floor button, nothing happened, and the lights went out. I was pretty freaked for a good 30 sec until the power came back. the nearest elders are 30 min away, pres carters like 45 min away, and i did not want to spend the night in a tiny elevator. it was ultimately super funny though. 
  got asked an interesting question this week- we were doing a lesson with our new member about the church org. to prep for Elder Nelson coming. She asked why there are 70 members of the quorum of the 70 (the name obv follows the number) we said Jesus did it that way, but she wanted to know why. Couldnt find an answer. 
   Anyway have a great week. I need to take more pics of myself here cause i dont have any new ones to send home. I love you all. Be good, be grateful. 
Love Elder Moore

Monday, June 10, 2013

lots goin on...kinda

Hey family and friends, 
  Last week I promised this week would be better. Cheest asats (truth told) it wasnt. Well kinda. But not really. I have a lot of random news, but ill start with actually missionary work. 
 Basically on Monday Armen (our BP, backbone of the branch and missionary work in Char) finally got a hold of an old referal and got him to come for a lesson. It went fine, not bad not amazing, he's kinda interested. But we were stoked, new referal, new investigator, everything good. That was the only lesson we had all week. Armen was busy the rest of the week with work and having to go to the hospital for spine problems. Our only investigators right now (3 men) are all his referals. The other man we found two weeks ago dropped us, and the new baptizee's son we keep trying doesnt want to do work, so he busied us all week. We had 3 lessons with our new converts, but other than that we literally walked the streets all week, with no success. We arent allowed to knock doors or do booths or anything, we walk around the tiny city and try to talk to people as they walk past. It was really hard. Obviously it was disappointing and discouraging, but its also getting really hot and we hit exhaustion. just pure tired. we realized we werent eating great (eating well is hard here) but were also just tired. elder marco and i are great friends, and very similar people. we had a lot of long talks this week about how to find motivation from nowhere, cause we didnt want to keep walking around. we talked about how while neither of us would ever go home, we were on our tipping points- we could either learn to push through and grow quite a bit, or we could pile out- meaning sleep a little later, take extra meal time, not study hard, not try, just walk around. stuff like that. we both agreed that was not acceptable and did a lot of studying and praying and just trying to buoy each other up. one big thing we learned was something weve always heard. this sort of thing (dedication, hard work, consecration) cant just be taught. there was no scripture or quote that was going to make us both go "ohhhh" and then start working harder. it has to be taught by the Spirit, through personal experience. thats why im happy dads recomitting to scripture study. i love 2 Ne 32 3- the words of Christ will tell you all the things that you should do. But I also love verse 5- the Spirit will SHOW you all the things you should do. they HAVE to go hand in hand. The spirit doesnt recite long lists of instructions- thats what God calls prophets and gave scriptures for. But just reading them isnt enough, we have to do them and then the Spirit will increase our understanding- that personal experience is when we grow. 
  By no means did we learn everything we need to in one week- we still have plenty to learn, and the work is still looking pretty rough here in Char. But i feel that we took steps down the right path, and even though i was disappointed we had no lessons and confused why this was happening to us when every companionship is supposed to baptize in June, i was grateful that i learned so much. 

  Other news- Happy Birthday to Alex! I told our members on friday it was your day- they acted like Armenians. (Armenians call down crazy blessings on you for your bday. they wish you health and sucess and good marriage and jobs and more health, over and over) and they told me to pass along the message (im not telling them mine is coming soon) 
  Lanie- do i know the Bachelorette? The only one im comitted to still watching is Seans. After that, eh. well see. People write me, people from Godwin and BYU and family. Sister Davidson is so great, she's the most consistent and always sends funny postcards- i need you (family) to tell her that i AM sending a letter to her to give to Albert Castanos. I emial chase, and right occasionally. He's doing awesome, read his blog as a fam every now and then. Armenians are light brown skinned, not too many are dark, a lot of them are a bit lighter. 
  thanks for keepin the blog going strong, uncle mike said to tell Alex to post more pics but that might be just cause i havent sent many home. Elder Maughan does have our address, he said fam and stuff has kept him busy lately so idk when he'll send the stuff. 
Ill do some studies on duty, and think of what to say to the ward and get back you next week.
  i love you all, have a great start of summer!
Elder Moore

me, elder kopsa, and elder marco- my new comp, he's on the right 

the vank (monastery) at Sevan

Our district at sevan- elder kopsa, marco, maughan, and me make up the inside. elder yardley on the right, van blankenstein on the left. Charentsavan and Hrazdan

me from a good view from the other Char apartment 

Elder Marco tried Lemon Lime koolaid in oatmeal (the only oatmeal they have here is bland so we try diff things to flavor it- usually chai tea packets. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hey Hey

Dear Family, 
  Unfortunately I wont be sending pics from Lake Sevan this week. Im not even sure if im doing it right though, did you get the pics i sent a few weeks ago? 
 I was sending the weekly letter home a few hours ago and the power to the internet cafe we were in cut, so thats why you didnt see this till now. sorry for the delay
  Transfers! Elder Maughan is in America. He left Thursday, stayed in Yerevan at the mission home, flew out Friday morning. It turned the week into kinda a crazy one. He did take home some trinkets for me that are for summer bdays and fathers day, idk when he'll send it but hopefully soon so it beats Alex's birthday. big 17. nothing tooo special about that, but any burfday is a good one. dont go see rated R movies to celebrate. just eat 17 chipotle burritos. 
  Anyywayy the transfer did end up the predictable, somewhat boring, but ultimately desired way. I am staying in Charentsavan with Elder Marco as my senior companion. You (besides Chase) dont know Elder Marco, we were friends at BYU, but he's awesome. Super good dedicated missionary. Really really good speaker for only his 3rd transfer. And we both know the city/branch pretty well. We're super excited to serve together, especially cause theres no awkward phase of figuring out what the other is like and the weird things they do. Elder Marco and I did realize we were almost too good of friends, and committed to not spending too much time talking about BYU stuff or people that we know. It isnt a bad thing, just not the best use of time. 
  That being said, this week was rough. The first half, besides Lake Sevan (which is beautiful by the way) was super distracting with Elder Maughan packing and being so close to home. He did good staying diligent to the end, but it was impossible not to talk about home and it was hard for me, not being out very long and not used to homesickness quite yet. During the transfer E Marco and I had to spend some time closing the other Char apartment, were the only 2 here now. And then the rest of the week we just had everything fall through. We have 3 serious investigators- one is a 17 year old kid, our new baptizee's son. But he is 17, and even though he likes what we teach he doesnt really want to put in effort for reading, praying, coming to church, or meeting with us. the other is a man E Marco was teaching who was working all week. And the other was a man Kamo I found last week, who was very different this time we met than last time. He went from honestly seeking truth to having a bunch of random and unimportant concerns and reasons not to read the BoM. We addressed them all, but he wont have the faith to try our message. All other appts fell through multiple days. we were still diligent in going out and talking, but no one wanted to talk to us. This Sunday there were a few bright rays, some potential investigators seeming kinda interested. We'll see what happens. But to reach our yearly baptismal goal before July 1 as a mission, every companionship needs to baptize once this month. That was making us really anxious with the way thigns were going. But i realized anxiety is the antithesis of fear. We need to be urgeny and dedicated, but not anxious. We have to do everything we possibly can but then ultimately trust the Lord to come through. He didnt put two young friends alone in Char to have the progress we've been making halt and fail. We can do it, if we are worthy of His help and trust him.