Sunday, March 25, 2012

March 19, 2012

Hey Family,

This week was the most crazy thing of my entire life.  So transfers were on Wednesday and we got put into a "zebra trio" with our District Leader and then I found out on Saturday that I was getting emergency transferred to Ridgeland, SC.  The furthest south to the furthest North.  The weird thing is that I am going to be serving in the same ward that one of my great friends, Emalie Ingram, from BYU's family attends.  Her dad is the bishop and I will see her when she comes home around the end of next transfer...  Isn't that crazy?!  It's funny because she just wrote me a letter last week telling me to get transferred to her area and then I didn't, and now I'm on my way there!  I'm actually writing you from the mission office right now.  

We had a MIRACLE this week.  Those cards that we wrote Elena touched her so much that she had a dream about being in front of the ward bearing her testimony and thanking them for their love and care.  She talked to Terecina for a while and then when we went back to visit her on Saturday, she told us that she is ready.  It was a mix of emotions, to be completely honest I really wish that I could be there for her baptism, but I was so happy and excited for her.  It is humbling knowing that the Lord provides when you just listen to what he wants you to do.  It's incredible and I honestly was speechless for about a half hour after that happened.  

I loved being in Gainesville.  It was really, ridiculously fun and inspirational and I learned more than I could ever express in words.  Being with Elder Winward was wonderful.  I am so incredibly sad to be getting emergency transferred, but like I said to President Barry, the more that I pray about it, the more that I realize all of the incredible blessings that are in store for all of his children.  I am just an instrument in Heavenly Father's hands and I will just do what he wants.  It should be a lot of fun going up to Ridgeland, being companions with Elder Lee.  Just pray for me that I will be able to stay strong in my faith and that I will be spiritually in-tuned enough to recognize those that the Lord wants me to convert up in South Carolina!

I'm not very interested any more in animation.  I'm not really that interested in things that are going to happen after my mission right now, which is something that I thought I would never say, but I just honestly feel like I could stay here forever.  Just like Ammon said to King Lamoni!

That is a great picture of Madison!  She is so beautiful and I am so excited for her to go out and serve in California.  I still remember that first time I went to the temple.  It was so wonderful and I can't wait to be able to do that again!

Sorry I don't have very much time this week to write, but all three of us wore green ties on St. Patrick's Day :)



Sunday, March 18, 2012

March 12, 2012

Dear Family,

Lately we have just kept looking for people, but our efforts have been seeming to pay off a bit more this week.  We met a man at the Flea Market, which is the BEST place to talk to people by the way, named Kevin and he is from Honduras.  He actually reminded me a lot of Elder Vilorio.  It was so easy to get along with him and he was completely open to talk about the gospel.  We said a prayer with him right there and set up an appointment to go and visit him on Thursday.  Today while we were shopping, we met some Puerto Ricans and they were just about the same!  Both of these people just seemed like they wanted to come to a new church, and we told them that they picked the right one!  

This week I think we only taught Elena once again, but she's in the hospital.  Apparently she has been having a lot of seizures, so we don't really know what to do.  On Saturday I had the idea to go to Walmart and buy some colorful paper so that we could make get well cards for her in church on Sunday in all of the different auxiliaries.  She loved them a lot, but when we went to teach she just told us that she can't accept the Book of Mormon as holy scripture or the word of God.  I know that it's true that whoever asks with faith, real intent, and a sincere heart will receive a witness that it is from God, but we just can't figure out what it is that we are not telling her.  You're right about us paving the path, but I just wish that she could get an answer sooner than later.  Something interesting that I've noticed is that almost every Spanish person that converts waits for a dream to know if something is true or not...  A lot of people do at least.  Just keep praying that God will tell her the Book of Mormon is true.

It has just been a very nice week and I found out that I'll be here at least another 6 weeks with Elder Winward! 

This looks like a big pineapple

Elder Windward and Elder Moore

The District

Love these beautiful flowers that are blooming everywhere right now

The University of Florida football stadium

Spanish Conference--Jacksonville Mission

Promise to Lehi's descendants:

"And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us...And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ...And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a pure and a delightsome people." 2 Nephi 30:4-6

BACK ROW:  Elder Jones, Elder Evans, Elder Phelps, Elder Garnica, Elder Nelson, Elder Winward.  MIDDLE ROW:  Elder Vilorio, Elder McArthur, Elder Oteo, Elder Warren, Elder Mourra, Elder Lee and Elder Hernandez, President Barry. KNEELING:  Elder Moore, Elder Quintano, Elder Larrocha 
These are the missionaries that have the privilege of bringing the Gospel to the Lamanites and being the Lord's instruments in making this prophecy come to pass.  We had a Spanish Conference where they taught each other and learned how to connect with the Hispanic people and how to better teach them.  

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 5, 2012

Dear Family,

The trees and bushes in Florida are starting to bloom and it is so beautiful here some days.  I have a feeling like you would love Gainesville a lot.  There are just a lot of old houses and flowers and Spanish moss- EVERYWHERE.  It rained really hard on Saturday night, but we slept like babies through it because we were tired from fasting...  Other than that there hasn't been much bad weather.  It's a PERFECT day outside today.  I think it would be great to get hit by a tornado or earthquake or hurricane, as long as we didn't die.  People remember God when they're humbled!  

This week we have been studying and working a lot with the ward trying to find solid new investigators.  There hasn't been a baptism in Gainesville for a while it seems, but we have been working to get everyone in the ward on our team.  We got 5 referrals this week from the youth that we are planning on helping the members teach sometime this week.  I think that when it comes down to it, every single member should make a goal to baptize one person they know every single year.  That doesn't seem too ridiculous, does it?? 

We just got a new ward mission leader named Brother Driaza and him and his family are really excited about the call.  They are Colombian, so it's great knowing that he will be able to help us out a lot in finding Hispanics!  I'm pretty sure that even before they were called, they were out every day making visits and helping members out.  They are a wonderful example to the ward and to us (the missionaries).  Sister Driaza was telling us about how a lot of people go to college to make friends, or even to get an education, but when she went she did it to preach the gospel!  Haha I hope that kind of helps you to get an idea of what they are like!  

I'M SO SORRY!!  I forgot my camera cord today again, so I'll have to wait an entire week before sending you pictures :(  But I haven't been good at taking pictures lately, so I'll take a lot and send a lot next week!  I'll try to let you see some of Gainesville and my companion and just things that we do.  It'll be great.  Be excited!  

This week we taught the most powerful lesson of my entire mission.  We had Elena read the Living Christ and then we shared our testimonies about Jesus and the Apostles and then Terecina (her recent-convert friend) told her about how she knew that God had set her up to come to Gainesville again to hear this gospel.  The house might as well have been on fire, had the roof blow off and legions of angels telling her to get baptized, but she still claims to not have felt anything!  It feels like we have done everything, but we're still just being patient and trying to find other people.  Elena and Stephanie have been coming to church, but just won't set a date to be baptized.  It's frustrating sometimes, but they'll come around!

I can't wait to see what you do with the house.  I'm sure it will be amazing.  I remember when we had that garden show in our backyard on Amethyst Dr. and all those people got to see how wonderfully talented you are at arranging foliage haha.  It's only a matter of time before the news crews are back over wanting some Moore flowers.  

Have a great week!  I love you a lot :)

Elder Eric

Sunday, March 4, 2012

February 26, 2012

Dear Family,

This week we did find some really elect people, but they were outside of our ward boundaries and English-speaking so we had to hand them off to the other Elders.  It was a really tough week because we didn't have a lot of set appointments with investigators...  I know that it's just a trial of our faith and that really we can do anything if it's what the Lord wants.  I'll let you know next week about the hundreds of baptismal dates we set :)

Elena and Stephanie both came to church, so we picked them up again, but other than that we are still just out looking and looking and looking some more!  We met a man named Eric that speaks only English, but is inside our ward boundaries, so we can teach him...  He had a book called "Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith" that apparently a member gave to him...  It sure would be nice if people could just stick to the Book of Mormon haha.  We had to explain so many incredibly difficult to answer questions about things that Joseph Smith had said.  Goodness gracious I don't know why Deseret Book publishes some of the things it publishes.  

President Barry has emphasized a lot lately the fact that we need to be finding through members.  He is trying to help us all to get a glimpse of the vision he has of how the missionary work of this church is going to start flying!  Like I was telling Dad, could you imagine how much growth would happen in the church if every member would just help the missionaries teach one of their friends?  The church would double in size.  

It sounds like you are having a great time down there in Texas.  I'm sure that they are all thrilled to have you down there.  Make sure that you let everyone know that I'm still alive.



February 20, 2012

Dear Family,

This week was a little bit different than most.  We dropped almost all of our investigators because we just figured that none of them were progressing towards baptism.  We have been having a hard time finding elect investigators.  It was the hardest to drop Elena, even though it was such a huge relief at the same time.  I don't mean to sound self-righteous, but we were such a huge blessing in her life that came straight from Heavenly Father to help her accept the gospel into her life, but she just couldn't get past her old beliefs.  It wasn't so much teaching, rather that just talking at somebody that is just thinking about how they're going to counter what we say with something they already believe.  It's just hard to teach people that aren't willing to listen to what we say when it comes down to it.  

So now we are pretty much starting from scratch and just working to find people that will be baptized.  Our Mission President tells us again and again to find through the members and on our own time, so we've been doing that.  On Friday we went up to contact some people in a little town to the north of Gainesville called Alachua.  We found SO MANY HISPANICS!!  It was wonderful!  A member had just recently moved up there too that will be coming down to our ward for translation, so we don't really even have to worry about transportation for this one man we talked to that had already been attending church just a few weeks before.  Even though we dropped almost everyone, we can clearly see that the Lord provides to those that trust Him!  

On Wednesday we had a Spanish-speaking missionary conference.  It was a lot of fun to be with only the people that I will for sure be companions with at some point.  There was a lot of excitement and it was really funny being able to talk about all of the ways that we use to find Hispanics.  Haha they tell us to look for clues and I'll just share a couple with you:  an upside down mop by their front door, Dora the Explorer gear (of course), frogs, pieces of carpet instead of welcome mats, Fabuloso soap in the windows, a lot of plants in their front yard, foreign flags, Dish 500 satellites, little trucks with rims that cost more than the car, etc...  Haha it's just so funny. 

I am happy that Hannah decided to go to USU, even though it's sad that she's going to be gone next summer.  I'm sure it will be a sad adjustment, but it's ok because we'll be together forever :)

I hope you have a wonderful week.  I am doing great here in Gainesville.  I'll send you some pictures next week in my e-mail!  Kira's a munequita!  I'll be praying for all ya'll.