Monday, July 29, 2013

Lord of the Flies

Dear Party People, 
  Another rough week! And this week's title is not just to reminisce sophmore year english class being totally confused until someone explained Simon was innoncence (read it, its actually good) but there is a gross story to be told from Char. But good news first- 
  We saw a miracle this week! We see miracles every day if we look hard enough, but this was the hand of the Lord reach out smack you in the face miracle. We had come back from district meeting, which was centered on strengthening our faith in expecting miracles. We didnt feel we'd learned a whole lot, but did recognize our faith had been smacked and battered and worn out, and needed a boost. So during lunch we read some scriptures and prayed asking for more faith. Anyway then a random number called us and a guy said he was at the church and wanted to meet. We checked our planners, didnt see the number anywhere, and feared it was kids pranking or people asking for money (both have happened) but obv we ran right over and met Avetik- Elder Marco contacted him on the street 2 MONTHS ago, and gave him an Articles of Faith card with our number (we do that a lot when people dont seem interested/dont want to give us their number) Avetik said he'd been really busy since then, but felt impressed to call, so he did. We had a meeting in the church, our branch president was already there, and Avetik accepted a baptismal date for a few weeks. He's accepting, prays a little crazy (that's an Armenian culture thing I'll explain one day) but has a sincere desire and we're super stoked. The next day he came to tell us he had to go to a village for a few days to work and couldnt meet. We were disappointed, but that was literally the first time an Armenian has ever cancelled on me (usually they just dont show up/answer the phone) Avo is seriously a miracle and we were so grateful. 
  Now, after that, the week stunk again haha. We had 3 meetings, one with one of our awesome members. Our two baptismal dates have been 1. sick 2. busy, neither's doing well. No one came to church. But Sunday we committed to finishing the week stronger instead of just holding out till pday, and we had a good evening of contacting. 
  K now for the gross bit- FLIES! Admittedly, our apartment was kinda gross. We had a big trash can we hadn't taken out in weeks, cause itd gotten nasty and we're bums. Elder Marcos worse at cleaning than I am. And the apartment is hot without AC, so we open the windows during lunch to cool down, and theres no window screens. Friday morning I killed 6 large flies, and told Elder Marco that was unusally large of a number. He didnt think much until we saw 8 more (the windows had been closed all morning) long story short, the windows have been closed all weekend, but we've killed 78 big nasty flies since then. Big gross ones, like end of your ring finger big. They're all the same. So we dont know where, but somewhere in our kitchen a bunch of flies were born and grew up and all came out. Weve done a very deep cleaning and searched a bit, but we cant find where they come from. but i think this morning we killed the last few. we'll see. at first it was zzvelli (nauseating, great word) but then i got desensitized and enjoyed killing them all. but if you think about it too long it makes you sick. 
  lanes- everyone needs a good lost roadtrip story. mine was going to fin and feather in the city with wren to pet puppies. we never found em, and ended up paying like 6 tolls. love the beach story, dont worry i dont know your friends names. youll have new names for them when i get home anyway (cause they're not real)
  alex, just admit you love jamesy and get it over with. i miss sonic super much. glad to hear the other side of the creek story, tyler didnt say he fell in. remember that time at the beach when linus got taken away by a wave and didnt come back for like 10 sec? that was cray. 
  dad- as for guns, very few people have them in armenia. i honestly have no idea how hard itd be to get one, i know one of our members has one but thats it. i know the mafia has a presence in armenia but i dont think its a particularly dangerous one. literally like no one has guns. 
 as for weight, im about 20 pounds down from the MTC but leveled out. theres plenty of junk food to eat here. my clothes are fine though, i got my shirts taken in but thats just not to look super american with a big baggy white shirt. 
  thanks for the car info, but i got another one that i actually think is fake- the Nissan Sunny. It looked super sketchy and its just such a dumb name haha. My requests for this week are a baby picture of me, and a picture of me with those strawberry pies you made for my bday last year. random, but oh well. 
  I love you all very much, and hope you have a good week. 
Elder Moore

I tried to light the tie, and then sprayed it with air freshener, and put toilet paper in it, but it still wouldnt light.... 

so i took it to the stove. and made a mess. and lots of smoke. worth it. 

gotta love water day. i didnt get wet enough to take a picture that would be good though

Monday, July 22, 2013

Im on the Up and Up?

Dear Party People, 
  awesome relient k song reference there. but the week was a step depi lav (towards the better) but still a fairly disappointing week in the day to day. also lots of random news. but the most important- 
  Hrazdan had their first baptism! The area has been open for a year now, with no baptisms. A handful of amazing people came really really close over the year, but Satan has thrown everything he has at Hrazdan, and it kept failing. This transfer was basically the last chance, it almost got closed instead, but it got whitewashed with two young elders. and the Lord showed just another example that it isnt our skill or impressiveness that matters, but our humility and sacrifice, obedience, etc. Saturday they baptized 5 members of a large family, with the dad having serious branch president potential, and knowing a TON of people in the city. It was an awesome day, such a special baptism. Hrazdans the only other area in my district, so ive been there a number of times and grown a love for the city. Satan is still wokring hard- the man has pride issues, and the family came an hour late to their confirmations on sunday, but i know that through continued hard work and prayers it will work out. Ive gained a testimony that Elder Marco and I's service and prayers have affected Hrazdan, and affect our loved ones- Elder Marco's friend has turned around and is now progressing towards baptism. I love stepping back, being humble, looking for the Lord's hand, and seeing the backdoor blessings. 
  As for our week, it was better. Our progressing investigator we hadnt seen in a week managed to meet with us this week, and he's still going okay. He didnt have to work Sat, so he came to the baptism and LOVED it. Kept telling people about how his was in 2 weeks- if we can harness that desire into urgency, he'll be ready. Because he didnt work sat he had to work sun, so we were bummed. but then he took his lunch break to come to sacrament (our BP brought him some food too hahaha) but we were so happy he came. We have an older woman thats getting ready to be baptized- she doesnt have any problems, we're just concerned with her level of conversion/tendecny to stay active. with a branch so small and weak, its tough to rely on the branch to help her stay. we're still looking for the builders- we need a sunday school pres, and elders quorum pres, elders to go in that quorum (the past 2 weeks its just us) and enough priesthood to make a ward, and overall just more active members. 
  the family we havent seen for 3 weeks was finally free from theyre busy work schedules, and we had a good lesson. the woman finally came out with her concerns that we worshipped Mormon, not God. We were shocked she could think that after the lessons we had previously taught, but swallowed our pride and explained, and it went fine. we were supposed to meet with them Sunday but it didnt work out, so we were bummed again. 
  Oh and saturday during the baptism i got my first shot at translating. ive done it in my head before while listening to talks or movies or stuff, but it was the first time i was micced up and had the senior missionaries at the baptism listening. at first it was tough not to focus too much on listening or talking, you kinda find a balance in the middle, but i settled in well and had some easy speakers (missionaries, my BP who im used to) towards the end I struggled a lot with people i couldnt hear well and told some super random stories, but it went well for first run. it was tough and gave me a headache, but i really loved it. theres not too many opportunities to do so, but im gunna take em all. I also gave a talk in sacrament this week- i had an hours notice cause our first counselor was supposed to give it and didnt come. talked about repentance, but focused on how reading the scriptures helps us to repent. it went fine, the language was all solid. my BP said it was really good, if only the people would've taken it in haha. always that way. 
  Anyway that was the week. We had a great zone conference on tues, it was a great recharger. 
 Lanie- love the random news like Ursula in colllege. Makes me laugh. dont use the cheats, make her sit there and study from the bookcase. i definitely rememer beanie battle, i could probably recite some of the rules haha. Dobby was more tylers thing, cause mine had a twisted nose and just wasnt my favorite in general. 
  Alex- I love the SPCA. That prob already answered the question i was gunna ask- your bday card to me mentioned a new dog russel. I figured classic Zaaz to throw in a fake dog, but wanted to make sure. send me some pics of linus and livs please. 
  about the grooming stuff- they announced it to us, light colored suits and pants now allowed. we've alway been allowed to work in dark slacks and white shirts. the sandals probably wont come here, you need good shoes to walk in the crappy roads and good boots for the ice in winter. they also said bacpacks are not allowed (????) to avoid looking like students or hikers. idk what ima do. Shoulder bags have become popular in the mish, but i hate them because they make us look like Jehovah's witnesses, and we already get that confused enough as is. anyway besides the bacpack bit the rule change wont affect how i dress. Ties have never been an issue, most any color is fine its just the design that could be too loud. oh and tell sandy i climbed into a tree in my suit and used a handsaw to cut down cherry branches for some people. 
  haha love the Brother Bleyl line, totally classic that way. He just thrives on it cause his sons 1. lob those up there for him 2. react sooo badly to them haha. miss the Gayton ward. 
  as far as the language... i certainly dont feel fluent and theres plenty of times i dont understand words or cant think of the one i want. but im doing very well. the zone leaders called this week and talked about a concern elder marco and i had both been thinking on, and thats the mission wide language slide thats going on. its tough to watch, but theres not a ton we can do but be awesome speakers people look too. so they challenged elder marco and me, both very competent with armenian, to continue to study hard to be those leaders. 
  anyway thats all i got, sorry this week is such a long letter. last notes- 
I've seen the "honda inspire", "nissan teana" and "toyota vitz" and there all models ive never seen before- i wonder if theyre just europe specific, or if theyre fake haha. crazy thought, but if it was gunna happen, it would happen in armenia. i've also found Beats headphones in a pretty reliable appliance store for 20 bucks. i think im gunna drop 20 on the very real possibility that theyre fake. i dont mind them being fake, i just dont want to get in trouble with customs in 18 months haha. but i think ill take a 20 dollar chance that i get a crazy good deal. 
 anyway i love you all very very much, and hope you're all striving to improve in the gospel every day. its more important than we can ever realize. 
love elder moore

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15th

Dear Family and Friends, 
  Gotta love great family and good friends. Gave me the boost I needed today to start another week. 
Not too much changes in Charentsavan, the heat cooled off slightly this week and it rained a little more. We had 3 meetings this week, one with a new member, the other two lasted about 40 min total (normall in Arm you have fewer meetings for longer cause people are so hard to plan up with, they literally dont know what theyre doing tomorrow and if anything comes up they dont call to cancel, they just dont come) so it was a slow week again. We did finally get a hold of one of our prominent investigators though that we hadnt seen in 2 weeks. He's been super busy, hadnt been home from work in 3 days, and didnt return our calls cause he didnt have our number haha. its still not great with his schedule though. 
  other news.. elder marco heard from Pres that he was def staying here till the transfers end (remember we only do transfers when new missionaries come, every 12 weeks) so thats at augusts end. It could affect me, but theres no way to know. 
  elder marco and i realized we had both thought of really strange post mission goals- elder marco was listening to "mountains to climb" by pres eyering and decided that he actually wanted to prepare to climb mount everest. that only affects the mission by him trying to eat better and work out harder. my backs been bothering me for about a month (the beds arent great) so i decided that after my mission i was going to try accupuncture. crazy what you think of. 
  interesting note that also has little significance- the sisters that are coming in Aug are the sisters that will go home with me. their transfer cards say theyll be out dec 31, 2014. so that could be my date. but still way too early to know. just know that if its close, you WILL wait for me until celebrating Christmas. 
  lanes- love the stories. on July 11 we were walking a lot and it was hot and i realized it was 7/11 and wanted a free slurpee soo bad. tell Leslie she'll always be Brother Anderson to me. 
Oh and get rid of that stupid note that says it was sent from your iPod :)
 Alex i LOVED challenge discovery. mom hated the climbing bit, but i thought it was amazing. 
Enjoy Shark Week. Record the whole thing and save it till I get home. 
  Gayton ward sounds like a kinda sad place to be. i miss the Bethels in the front, and Brother Bethels testimonies and stories. one time i visted him with the Bleyls and he told us about the summer he played imaginary baseball with himself and his "whamstick" (a broom handle) I think he said he bat 400 that summer and hit like 54 homers. great man. Ill miss the Kikers very much, I always loved the way Brother Kiker spoke and he seemed to have a different approach to many things i loved. 
  as for eating- we never eat with members, one of our members has made some salad and stuff for us this week. but the schedule is usually this- 
breafkast- plain (literally unflavored) oatmeal, lots of sugar, and sometimes a herbal tea packet to flavor it. eggs, boiled/scrambled/fried, yershik (this salami like meat, its all they have) bacon, and sometimes coco puffs
lunch- hot dogs, bread, cheese, ramens
dinner- we make stuff like corn chowder and noodles and stuff, we have beef and plenty of veggies here. or sometimes we just eat more hot dogs. 
 thats about it, if you go to yerevan theres many restaurants that are more normalish. 

anyway i hope everyone has a great week. this week I got closer to my Heavenly Father. We probably walked close to 50 miles this week, with little going on. There were times i actually did want to quit and stop working. there were nights i told God i couldnt do the same thing tomorrow. But then i had great nights sleeps and i did it again the next day. I received strength when i had none. i did my best not to shrink, and the week ended. and now its a new one. im patient, trusting the Lord's timing, looking to improve, and always grateful for what I already have and what im now learning. 
i love you all so much
Elder Moore

that thing i found in my yogurt monday morning. no clue what it is. thought it was mold but it was something solid and rubbery. didnt taste good (just kidding i didnt eat it) just a reminder every now and then not to trust those russian products. the story is that one elder found a steel nail in his oatmeal once

its hard to describe Char. its a very very small urban setting, kinda like a half mile just taken right out of yerevan and plopped else where. every one lives in apartments, everythings russian cement buildings, urban style. 

now picture walking home to your apartment to find 3 cows just chillin there munchin on some grass. totallly random, sooo funny. we met a man the next day that said he owned cows, we had to cut off the convo so we could laugh. i wish id put my cow suit on, but that wouldve been super un missionary haha.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hey Yall

Dear Fam and Friends, 
  So much to tell, not a ton of time. Firstly, Happy Birthday to Lanes and Murica! We had our meeting with Pres Carlson on the 4th and they did have some watermelon, so we all shared some thoughts about how much we love America. As for Lanes, all the Armenians wish you health and more health and success and a good career and an attractive husband and healthy kids and long life filled with love. along those lines. i do hope it was a good one though, gotta love my baby sister. 
  I also got my two bday packages this week, they were so awesome. everything has been delicious so far, but im definitely saving the Phineas and Ferb mac and cheese for the most special of occasions. im not even sure what would warrant using someting that good in Armenia. I think i might bring them to the mish home with me on my last day and eat both of them at once. The tie was awesome, I love the color, and the singing card was great. Elder Marco gave me a hard time cause the music was technically not allowed, but i danced a few minutes anyway and danced my worries and wiggles away. I grew the pet flamingo sis bleyl sent, that was fun, and elder marco and i love the stress balls. we use them sometimes for stress, other times just to throw them at each other. both pacakges were seriously awesome and im so grateful for great friends at home. 
  i had my 6 month mark this week, we went to erevan as a group to get our residence cards, then had decent restaraunt food. i took a chance on one of the only 2 burger places in Armenia and had a triple with cheese. it was good, but def not American, and my tummy didnt love me later. worth it though. i got a little distracted thinking about how fast the first 1/4th of my mission has already gone, but its also been a good 6 months since ive been home, so i reminded myself there was much more to do, and much more to learn, and got back to work. 
  Sunday was the blessed water day. We wore ties that we didnt care about getting wet, thin socks, crappy shoes, and put our planners and stuff in bags. we had to sprint away from kids a few times pretty hard (they keep yelling "where are you going? its water day!") elder marco got dumped on from an apartment building, and then we both got bucketed, but it really wasnt too bad with some evasive manuevers. we took the offensive for an hour instead of eating, and took some very big balloons up to the 9th floor of a building over looking a busy street. we made some old women very mad at us, but the best was elder marco hurling a big balloon clear across the road to get some teenage punks. they kept yelling at the wrong building for someone to come out and face them, and we laughed. it was a good time. didnt quite feel like a missionary, which isnt a great feeling, but i felt it was some needed relief. 
  this week didnt get much better, we had 3 meetings total. 2 of them are with a new investigaor, Vazgen, whos a great guy. hes very open but has some understanding issues with the doctrine. we want him to read the BoM, bcause it always helps understanding through the message it contains and the Spirit it invites, but he doesnt read very well at all. Were trying to convince him to try, read slowly, etc, and we promised him the spirit would tell him its true, and that reading would get easier, but he wants to just listen to others read. which isnt bad, he udnerstands when they do, but not reading will make staying active so much harder, so were prying he'll try. 
  i met Pres Carlson this week. hes and his wife are super diff from the Carters. a bit more outgoing and jokey/engaging, less quietly powerful. but he's a very humble man, he loves the mish, and he's committed to leading it only through the Lords guidance. our interviews with him went well. We talked about how hard the areas been. It kinda seems like Elder Marco might be headed out of Char early, 7 months is a long time in such a small town. Pres Carlson could tell he was worn out, on his last leg with Char. He could tell it was affecting me. I dont know if that means Elder Marco will leave mid transfer, and ill leave at the transfer, or i could still stay another as a senior comp. im not sure how i feel. Char is very small, and its been hard, theres not many people to talk to on the street that we dont already know, and without meetings the days are super long. im not afraid to stay another transfer, if theres more to learn from here, and id love to stick it out and see success come, but i am concerned that at that point my attitude toward Char would be worse and it would negatively affect the next missionary. the city might need fresh eyes. but the fact is none of that is our decision. Pres got our input, learned what he needed to, and now its up to the Lord. and until we hear anything we're going to continue on in obedience and try our best to be diligent. 
 anyway im out of time, i love you all, have a great week. Look for the tender mercies of the Lord in life. I know thats cliche and sounds hard, but if you just remember that EVERY good thing comes from God, our gratitude and love for God and for others will increase. I love my family very much, im so grateful for everything they do
Love Elder Moore

Monday, July 1, 2013

Moore Pics

we spent like 12 bucks on a watermelon (idk if thats expensive for US but def is for ARM) and then ate the whole thing in two settings

picture of downtown yerevan from a bridge

Some Moore Pics

we found out that cake was actually kinda nasty- had way to much egg, gave me 3am bathroom troubles. anyway i went to take it out and the box was weak so it dropped. sad day

Me, Elder Marco, and Caren before he left to Russia

me and the Carters

tsavd tanem

Dear Family and Friends,
  Allo barev zez tsavd tanem inch ka chka? Basic hello in Armenia, tsavd tanem is a throw in phrase that makes you sound more ghetto as a mish, but if you can master it you sound more Armenian. the translation has nothing to do with how they use it, ill just have to explain in it 18 months. 
   Anyway I was hoping to hear from everyone to have more to do this week during email, i still have very little to report. we have a number of investigators that are good people with great potential, but are always busy with work. When people have work in Armenia, you never complain, but its been about 3 weeks since any of them made any progress. We continue to be frustrated with our members being complacent and sometimes actively making church worse. We did a lot of walking this week with little success. its probably been the worst week ive had so far, but it is over and its time to recomitt to another week. God knows whats going on, including when people are using their agency and just not making the time or effort, but He knows what we're going through, and Char will either get better through many blessings, or turn to be a proving ground for growth, or both. But faith is not binding God to our will, saying if we work hard and have enough faith and pray hard than things will work out, or that we have to start questioning God's will. faith is trust that one day we will understand why things worked out the way they did. 
   Pres Carter left Sat, Wed i had my fina interview with him and we had a zone meeting to say good bye. it went well, he gave my great advice about the rest of my mission, my attitude towards how things work out at home, what to do after my mission, how to become what i need to become now and later. he gave me a great blessing. We havent heard anything from Pres Carlson yet, it could potentially be a little while, we're kinda isolated here in Char, being a part of the Yerevan zone but far  enough from Yerevan to come only a time or two a month. Im anxious to see what direction he'll push/take the mission, but he's the president, he has the right to inspiration from the Lord for us starting immediately, and im committed to follow him wherever he goes and be someone he ca rely on for the first half of his time here. 
  anyway thats all that happened. everyone have a good week of summer, enjoy the pics. love you all
Elder Moore

Late picture of my birfday

yeah, that says Adibas. the best part is the fake ones are even cheaper