Monday, February 24, 2014


Dear Family and Friends, 
   I'm paying the full price for making fun of Elder Maughan at the end of his mission (but seriously, he hadn't seen the last Harry Potter!) I have NOT been gone long enough to feel this old. Elder Potter was shocked when he realized I had missed 2 of the new editions of the video missionaries go to watch once a week, never saw iron man or superman or sunglasses man or whatever other new superhero movies I've missed, blah blah blah. he keeps telling me how much he wants his iPhone 5S, like thats supposed to mean something to me. hey. my phone lets me make my own ringtones. whenever our members call it plays a hymn in phone tones. i love him, but today we went to a meeting with the elders and elder miller and i were just excited to talk fast armenian, so we let our new companions talk about their mtc hooliganness. its crazy how time and effort combine to change people so quickly. 
   the works going alright, nothing too much to complain about this week but we hoped it wouldve gone better. the mom and son havent met with us all week. she's working crazy hours. the thing is, i feel i've done a pretty good job learning to be patient with armenians, especially investigators. but i need to now learn how to be patient with other missionaries and members that have no patience for investigators. and thats a whole new problem. our member, when he heard the mom was asleep instead of coming to church, suggested we teach about laziness, and throw in all the reasons why the Jehovah's Witnesses are wrong (she's learned about them some) thank you, but no. all she really needs is love, patience, true doctrine, and more effort to be consecrated on our part. 
 but like i said we went to a lesson with the elders today (they found her, she lives right next to our house) and her and her mom said "we want to join your church, is that okay? what should we do?" yep, that is fine with us. the girl works every day, gets one free day a month, but she said she would read and try to make sure that free day was a sunday. the mom will come once the weather warms up, she just had surgery and is still pretty weak. theyre awesome though. Its times like that, when unexpected blessings just fall in your lap, that you realize 1. how important it is to just be a missionary all the time and 2. how pleased the Lord is when you do it. I had another experience like that yesterday, we went to a members who isnt coming to church because no one will come to visit her at home, so we missionaries went over for her birthday. the other 3 elders were on the couch chatting and enjoying cake, the sisters were focused on the member, so i just decided i would chat with her neighbor friend who was just sitting in the corner. we talked about the classic stuff that armenians tend to enjoy discussing with americans who are interested- languages, especially armenian and russian, the soviet times, their lives and how different it is, etc etc. then he told me about how his wife and mother had died within the last 3 months. if i had just preached to him from the start, he probably wouldve shut off. i can chat about normal stuff, but as soon as things got real i told him about the temple and my testimony of it all. then i finished my cake. we're gunna teach him and his son's family this week. 
i love being a missionariy. and i love doing it all the time. sure sometimes i put on jeans to do service and realize how comfortable normal clothes actually are, but i love the white shirt and tie. i love having it tucked in and polishing my shoes, and not just because it makes me look good. most of all i love the tag. 
  you all are awesome. i miss you tons, i hope you have a fantabulously boring week
love elder moore  

Monday, February 17, 2014

get your popcorn ready

Hey everyone, 
   So forreall I feel like I should constantly be eating popcorn cause training is such a party ( i say "its a party" about a lot of things now) meaning that sometimes its awesome, other times i want to rip off my tie, set it on fire, and then make elder potter eat it :) but that im ALWAYS grateful its the situation im in. basically just a little microcosm of my mission, yeah i still remember that word. 
 elder marco, who just finished training, and anyone else that has trained, tells me "get ready to do everything for atleast 3 weeks" very true. i've been teaching, finding, planning, and arguing with our landlord about whos going to pay for the sink being fixed (we had water shooting everywhere until we shut the water off) and everything else, including teaching elder potter about missionary work. that ones the hardest- the rest i can do it all, i just get tired, and have to try to include him without too much he gives up. but i've realized how hard it is to teach about missionary work. my trainer taught me really well, because i wanted to be him. not because he said i should, or that the Lord required it of me, just because he showed me that when we do the Lord's work in His way we get blessed, enjoy the work, and still have lots of fun. so im trying to be the best example i can, instruct when its really needed (no you cannot fall asleep in lessons) and when he asks, and just be his friend. Its defnitely a slow start but we're moving. 
  the works going better than it has, i've just been feeling like we can be doing a lot more. the other day elder potter said "i didnt think missionary work would be this easy" i chuckled cause i knew he'd call me crying a week out of his training some day, but i also realized i can be a lot more diligent about the little things. i LOVE alma 37:46- let us not be slothful because of the easiness of the way. i'm not slothful, i can just do some more sprinting thats all. 
 the mom and son we're working with are still doing well, she's just fighting against accepting a baptismal date and then doing everything to reach it. she said she wants to be baptized in august, her birthday. shoot me! you wish people would realize how much more important this is (plus, EVERYONE knows its better to stagger special occasions that to stack- i have it perfected, birthday in june, christmas in dec) but you also know that you cant expect them to just get it. we're working hard though, she can be ready, and im gunna push her to hit up a March 29th baptism with me. its gunna be special. 
 not too much else going on this week! im tired but loving life. i've been trying really really hard lately to find the balance between complacency and being too hard on yourself. pres carlson introduced the trainers to the trainees. he said "this is elder moore. he speaks pretty good, or he's fooled me pretty well. he's way too hard on himself" haha. but i just always feel complacent. i guess the trick is just in taking the days as they come and trying to be better than yesterday, atleast in some way. 
anyway you all are awesome, i love you and hope you have a great one
elder moore

Monday, February 10, 2014

mi or sirelu

Dear Family and Friends, 
  The title means "a day to love" and I say that because 1. I completely forgot about Valentines Day this week, and 2. I'm so far gone out of good titles. I should've stuck with Chase and been smart- weekly letter ___  
  Anyway no one here cares about Valentines. It reminds me of Elder Bednar when he came to answer questions in our stake and said you could ask him where the sword of Laban is and he would tell you "I dont care, and I dont know why you care!" Seriously though the Armenians have it right. Not only do they not care, but in general they're super classy about affection in public. If people do kiss in public its typically only on the cheek. In general theyre pretty conservative people. I'm gunna miss it. 
 So apparently the Olympics are starting? yeah no one here is going. and my comp's dad told him the Russians are crazy unprepared and everythings chaos. Hearing about it just made me laugh cause none of it surprises me, and then I remembered that the whole world is watching and freaking out. Idk if Armenia sends people, if they do the sports arent big enough or we just arent good enough to get anyone excited. 
  A few people commented on the oil obsession of Armenians- its totally them. They're pretty Orthodox (I think?) they have amazing respect for the sanctuary- good and bad. Bad, some people wont come to church cause it isnt pretty enough of a building. good, they LOVE the Kiev Temple. So pretty.  But yeah this is a people who still burn candles and do animal sacrifices and swear they are the most Christian people on the Earth. not because theyre a bad people, just because they havent been taught that religion should be anything different. you find so many people that want more though, and are willing to act to get it. The Lord is preparing this people like he never has before. 
  Speaking of which, our new investigator is doing awesome. Shes the mom of a 12 year old whos a neighbor of a less active that we found by a miracle. tell me thats a coincidence so i can laugh at you. our less active work that we're actually doing has been really tough- lots of incomplete addresses with no phone numbers, no one knows them, lots of people in Russia, etc. but from our show of diligence the Lord has literally dropped people in our laps, and theyre bringing people with them. the daughter of a new convert family got married a few months ago and her husband told her she couldnt come. this past week she decided to show up and said she was either going to leave him, or bring him to get baptized. 
 anyway this mom is doing great, she loved the 1st lesson. We read her the verse from Amos in the 1st pamphlet about the Apostasy, and she was like "okay, i've heard that exact same verse come from a Jehovah's Witness. why are your messages different and yet based on the same Bible?" she LOVED Elder Callisters example about the need for 2 points, because infinite lines can be drawn through just one. she wanted a BoM, said she would read and pray, came to church, and prayed there too to close Sunday School. 
  so anyway i'm really happy that I stayed here in Gyumri through the transfer. oh yeah and this picture is my new friend and companion, Elder Potter. He just got here from America. Its funny, the last few weeks of the transfer were kinda tough but Pres has known i'd be training for about a month now. So when i saw him he just kinda winked, like yeah dont worry it was all worth it. Its cool, its definitely something im not used to. I remember wanting someone just like me, and now i realize thats terrifying! i forgot to look a year in the past and realize what i was like in my training, and how long it took me to apply what elder maughan taught me. Elder Potters cool, hes ready to work, willing to learn, he just needs to be harnassed (you know, exactly like how i did and still do?) the language is a struggle, but hey, he's in good hands :P and i just learned a ton on patience! its gunna be a good transfer.
 I love you all, I love my mission and this work, and I love the Lord. 
Love Elder Moore
my new friend and companion, Elder Potter

Monday, February 3, 2014

The most stressful two days ever

Dear Family and Friends, 
  ... are the days before transfers. I can stay pretty focused most of the time. Even as you do your last weekly planning session (and your companions confident he's going to leave after 9 months in Gyumri) theres still too much to do and too much time to be distracted by possibly leaving. but then pday you get a letter from pres carlson, the same he always gives, reminding everyone that some people will not change at all (Which is kinda a scary thought when you only do transfers every 12 weeks) and also NOT to talk about transfers- he hates nothing more than missionaries who know exactly where theyre going before he calls them. anyway calls come tuesday night and we have a zone meeting and the sisters have a baptism so that should keep us from getting distracted. as for what the future holds, i honestly have no clue. but i trust pres. 
  everyone made me laugh a ton today, especially chases letter about convincing the kid he doesnt know english- last week when a guy came to the sisters baptism the sisters were talking and he leans over and goes "theyre not from Armenia, are they?" I said no, theyre American. He goes "yeah its totally obvious" and then gives me this look like I'm in the in crowd. Sir, you realize you're talking to a fat kid thats as american as they get right? we go way back, and before that we're from england anyway. IM FROM AMURICA. anyway i decided to let it slide and see how far i could take it. he stopped investigating though. bummer. but this week i got told i spoke armenian better than they themselves haha. which isn't always a good thing, but i'll take it. 
  this week our efforts in reactivation continue to do good things. a neighbor of a less active came to an activity and then to church. hes cool, he's 12 years old. he calls me "elder beautiful" (for real, don't laugh) the one thing i have that armenians dig is great hair. they LOVE the color of it, and i've found a good classy missionary look. but they love how thick it is (they can have it, i got a haircut 2 weeks ago and already need another. i miss buzz cuts and long hair) anyway hes a good kid but he is a 12 year old with only his mom, who happens to be a Jehovahs Witness, and then his less active neighbor who could go back to living 2 hours away at any time. so we'll see. but then last night Branch Pres took us with him to give a blessing to a less active- Armenians LOVE blessings. The only problem is their convinced the power is in the oil (theyll make up fake illnesses when you tell them if they arent sick we dont use oil, and they'll ask you to put more and more on) anywayy this girl was normal, she knew it was all dependent on her faith, but her non member sister in law also asked for one and she loved it and was super interested. she looks like great potential, after a few min of explanation she really wants to get a patriarchal blessing and go to the temple with her husband. so that was awesome. our branch presidents legit, he's only 28 (this is his 4th year as BP) so he's still basically just a missionary. we walked out and he was like ELDERS NEW INVESTIGATOR WHOO! 
  not too much else this week. i've been meditating a lot (pres told us to make time in our nightly schedule for it) and my thoughts kept going back to Char- not for nostalgias sake, I've been learning a ton from it. When i first left i thought "well that was a training ground", which was completely wrong because in my training 5 people got baptized, and after i left 8 people we taught got baptized, and theyre working on a family of 6 we found too. i just had to realize that the timing is the Lords and whether or not i record the baptisms is of no importance, and also doesnt affect if i was successful or not. then i started feeling "well we did our best, but we couldve worked a lot smarter. things worked out in the end, basically because of Armen BP" and its true, i wish i had done less active work in Char, it wouldve been a lot easier there than here (the citys small and the addresses are way easy) but no one taught me to/how, i kinda had to learn it myself actually. anyway then one day i was talking to elder marco on the phone and just out of our heads we had a list of 11 good men that could be priesthood potential we had tried to work with. of them only 3 didnt have families, 2 of them being fairly young. if even just half of them had made it it would do wonders for that branch. and I finally realized "we did our best, AND it was good enough. we were good teachers even back then, because we practiced every day. we did all work through Armen, because thats how its supposed to be anyway" it just simply wasnt those men's time. but the best part is in all of this i never came to some conclusion of  leaving Char behind as a failed project that simply wasnt my fault. my appreciation grew of it all. my love for those people grew. and my testimony grew that training grounds dont exist. The Lord intends for no one to fail, we just have to respect the greatest gift of all, free agency. 
  i love you all, i love this work! i hope you have a great one
love elder moore