Monday, September 2, 2013

the joy is in the journey

Dear Family and Friends, 
  Man missions are an adventure. Even with Char getting kindof old there were still just crazy things, and my time in Artashat has been really hectic so far, but Im learning to embrace and love that. This past week the Yerevan sisters called me and said "hey guess what we found out? the kida we baptized with her grandma last week was actually SEVEN, not eight!" I laughed so hard, with a little concern seeing as the BoM defines that as an abomintion, but it was a really funny story. the problem is that in Armenia for some reason everyone rounds up, basically saying "im in my eighth year" but only saying "im 8" its kinda dumb. and the sisters just werent paying attention filling out the baptismal form, honest mistake. President Carlson thought it was hilarious. the funny part is the kid turned 8 like 9 days after her invalid baptism, so shes just being rebaptized and we didnt send the form to the church headquarters. crazyyy stuff. 
   in other news, i keep forgetting to announce my prediction in the future of missionary work- 2 year sister missions. i think it will only be optional if they want it, and idk when it will come out, but i think after technology thatll be the next big thing. so just remember when it happens in 10 years that i called it first. 
  last week we got to go to a really cool vank (pretty but empty church) in yerevan, and there was a little carnival next to it, so elder shields and i rode what ive termed the vomitron. it turned in vertical circles while your little car swings freely, so basically you just flip over and over way too much. i couldnt feel my hands or face, and it was awesome. today we're going to Khor Virap (KH is a hard throat H) which is like the coolest and most historyish vank in armenia, and you only get to go from shat! should be super fun
   So Artashat is really hot. like really really really hot. Im not sure its any worse than a blazing and humid day in RVA in mid Aug, but i didnt have to walk outside for 6 hours in that heat. its been pretty rough. usually we come in for lunch, i pull my 1.5 liters of water out of the freezer, drink it all, and then have no appetite. the work is still pretty slow. we met one man last week and got to meet with him once. he said he would pray for strength to quit smoking (he smokes ~60 a day) and then two days later he said he was starting to work it down, but we havent been able to meet since. one of our members invited a man to church and he really enjoyed it, wanted to keep coming, so that was good. he lives in Ararat, maybe 45 min away, but comes to Shat often enough, and Elder Chojnacki and I are also planning on going to Ararat for a day every now and then cause we have a fair number of members there (there was a branch, but it closed) 
  We met 2 enlgish speakers in 20 min last night it was crazy. one is named Ed, hes from CA, hes a preacher for some Pentecostal (?) church and he does not like us at all. i knew arguing with him would be useless and i figured since we were two people on the other side of the world for our faiths he wouldnt want to meet, but i tried really hard to be nice and to find a common ground of Christianity and respect for sacrifice so we could leave on a good note. But he just refused to let me have it. he asked if i actually believed what i teach, and i said yes, and then he said he felt sorry for me. i asked why i would be here and not at school or working or dating for 2 years if i didnt atleast feel strongly about it, and all he said was people do crazy things. he was just really unpleasant. he had major problems with very deep and not-the-most-important doctrine of our church, and refused to read the BoM because it was "teaching those things" i told him it wasnt, that he was putting the cart in front of the horse, and that at the end of the day we were very very Christian. but he just wouldnt let me have any ground, so i condemned him just a little and we left haha. he told us to do some serious introspection that night into why we were here, who we were actually serving, etc, and i did- i prayed about it actually. and i felt a peace that id been searching for for about a week with everything being so hectic. so thanks Ed. then we walked 100 yards and met Armenians/Assyrians from Canada. the dad and his son spoke enlgish, the dad spoke Armenian and the son spoke Aramaic. He really liked us and actually asked us to give his son a blessing so we went to the church and did. they said they would meet the missionaries in canada, they leave this week. so that was super cool. 
  sounds like good stuff from home, shame to hear about BYU. its crazy that schools already starting again, i remember summer flying when i was a student but as a missionary the girls school break was just a blink. todays my 8 month, 1/3 mark, but im not really worried about that sort of stuff anymore, im in my trenches and wont worry about anything till i only have 6 months. in january ill burn a shirt cause thatll be awesome, but thats about it. 
  anyway i love all of you, and i hope you understand how important this gospel is. i hope you understand how important it is to me, but i hope its important to you. 
much love
elder moore

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