Monday, December 29, 2014

Don't take it for Granted

Man it was AWESOME talking and seeing all of you, I can not tell you how GREAT it was! It was crazy how fast that time went by like I kind of feel that is how our life after this life on earth will be we will have felt like it was so short. So it hit me the importance of this time and how we have to be ready to prepare to meet God after this life. I'm actually starting a study journal to write a recap of what I study each day, so I can go back and reflect on what I learn. Also as I especially pray to know if these things are true or to learn a key point I have seen it take place and happen and see things in the scriptures that I had glanced over before! Enos truly talks about the wrestle he had with God and the importance of praying with REAL INTENT. It also talks about once we have been blessed by the Lord we have that desire to share and help others out. He even wanted to help out his enemies the Lamanites! Oh D&C 58:27 and Moses 1:39 go great hand in hand about the importance of getting involved in the best work this world has to offer. HELPING OTHERS COME UNTO CHRIST!

Tuesday we had our district (11 of us, 8 Elders and 3 Sisters) breakfast and then went to the big plaza here in Criciuma and sang Christmas songs for a couple of hours, we also had a bunch of members with us, it was really impressive and we had a big crowd gather to listen to us and we handed out “He is the Gift” pass along cards. Then a radio station that was there broadcasting asked us to come over and sing on the radio, so ya we are pretty much famous now down here in Criciuma, we are as big as any music group.

Then later that day as we were walking down the street a man from Haiti approached us asking where our church is, after talking to him we found out that he had already read the whole Book of Mormon and attended church back in Haiti and really liked it. He has been living here in Brazil working for about a year. We invited him to the ward party and church on Sunday. It was a way cool experience!

So on Christmas Eve and Christmas we ate really good at the Bishops and his mom’s house. We also bought a ton of chocolate so we all ate a bunch of chocolate to get through the trunkiness of missing home! Hahaha. Most chocolate I’ve eaten in a long time! We opened gifts and packages, thank you for the package it was a great Christmas present. Elder Gomes bought me a Corinthians cup and I got him a towel. I got a keychain from E Dos Anjos and a sister in the ward bought us all pins because she saw my flag pins so she bought us some from her state Rio Grande do Sul.

A little bit about E Betts, the new Elder in our apartment. He is from Michigan his moms from the Philippines and his dad American. He is the youngest of 6 kids. (They all live in different states so he used Hangout to be able to talk to them all). He has come in with great enthusiasm and we truly feels like we are going to change the ward and area! With this new year we have a ton of great ideas and plans set for January! I'm honestly very excited for the possibility of January! We have planned to do a 40 day fast in the ward, families are eternal for FHE, a missionary work Sunday with president during a sacrament, and start having a missionary moment before the start of priesthood and relief society!. We are really animated in trying to change the culture of this ward and make them more united while being more bold in finding and teaching people. I'm really excited for 2015!

After speaking with you all, I have realized I took a lot of things for granted. I've realized how much, without a doubt, how much each of you have done for me and helped me and loved me, I’m so very grateful for my family! I also took for granted having the gospel in my life and knowing that I have a Heavenly Father who loves and cares about me, and Jesus Christ, who did everything so we can return to be with them again. I thought I was coming out on a mission to serve and teach those here in Brazil. I never thought I would be the one that has learned so much, I have been the one that has been blessed to be out here. It’s funny how quickly being away from home has taught me so much. Justin don’t take these things for granted, be appreciative, you will realize it when you are on your mission.

Love you all,
Elder JT Moore

Churrasco Dinner pre Christas Eve lunch
Our District Sang on the Radio (Ya were famous!)
One of my presents
E Betts and I, Dinner Christmas Eve at the Bishop's House
Bishop and his Family
Yes!!!!! We got Presents!
Some of the Chocolate that we ate
My keychain
E Gomes towel
We are soo sad, because  we miss our families
Me Skyping my family
Dinner at the Bishops mom's house

Monday, December 22, 2014


Okay so this week may have been one of the best of the mission, not as far as numbers, but being out here on the mission, me and Elder Gomes finally clicked, he has taught me a ton, not just about companionship and dealing with people, but also becoming the best missionary I can be and how to improve and see that yes we are here to help others but at the end of the day if we can like D&C 18:15 “If we can bring one soul unto him. (ours) how great will his and our joy be.” We still aren't perfect but man from where we have come I would have never thought. I know that the Lord put him to be my companion in this instant for specific reasons without any doubt. God knows each of us perfectly.

Below is a picture that E Dos Anjos shared with me titled JESTO! 5 things you can do to be strong in the gospel and as a FAMILY. Please do these, I know these things are true! They are FASTING, Scripture STUDY, Preparing and Taking the Sacrament, Going to the Temple, and PRAYING.

Justin please listen to this link Sacrament a Renewal for Our Soul from a talk that I loved in the past general conference that really hit me that I wished I had understood better. I wished I had learned this early in my life. When we are priest we have the privilege to bless the sacrament! (Helping everyone renew their baptismal covenants, Kind of like a new baptism for the week in a way.That is something very sacred, and as I have studied and read the sacrament prayers, which is something I said for 2 years every Sunday, now that I have studied, and I mean truly studied I have learned a TON about it. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ LOVE us so much, In D&C 19 it talks about that Jesus Christ did everything for us. If we just repent. He doesn't want us to suffer. BECAUSE HE ALREADY DID FOR EACH AND EVERYONE OF US. And the PRIVILEGE YOU GET TO BLESS THE SACRAMENT IS VERY SACRED. This world and life is INCREDIBLY SMALL like seriously if had a rope that stretched from one end of eternity to the other and then wrapped a small piece of yarn on one point that would signify our life on earth. Its crazy because sometimes it may feel like forever, but its not. So we don't have to worry so much on what people think and instead on what GOD thinks of us because with him and how we choose to serve and obey him will determine our ETERNAL FUTURE, and honestly that is something I have learned a ton more on the mission that I wish I had learned earlier. I am very grateful for the sacrament it truly is a gift from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that we are able to partake of. Justin you have the privilege to bless it for everyone at church. Keep that in mind and prepare throughout the week to truly be prepared and worthy to bless that to others I know without a doubt IF YOU CHOOSE to do that you will see a much brighter happiness in your life, and others around you, you will feel more confident in the eyes of the Lord. I TESTIFY of these things as your brother who loves you forever, and as a Representative of Jesus Christ that if you choose TODAY To prepare EVERYDAY, TO BE prepared and be worthy of the holy ghost in your live you will see miracles in your life and GOD WILL TRULY BE SO PROUD AND HAPPY OF YOU. I wish I had learned this at a younger age and I pray and hope that you can learn from the mistakes that I have made to become better than what I was. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

Visits for the week:
So Cabral and Marinese- we taught them this week and it was awesome he cried during the lesson and the lesson was truly lead by the spirit! It was great! That family has a lot of potential I am excited for them!
Maria- Is in Floripa for the holidays
Antonio and Fatima- He didn't get surgery because they said it was too risky so hes on these new meds and in a hospital in Tubarao, the hospital is just for heart patience and he is being monitored
Gloria and Clation- we are going to take a break until after new years and see what happens.
We are going to be going out and trying to fortify the members and create more of a bond with them!

They celebrate more Christmas Eve here and have a huge feast at like 11pm on Christmas Eve, so they don't go to sleep early because of santa... SMH! So we will eat on the 24th at Bishops and the 25th at the bishop’s mom’s house, which will be also a ton of food!

Okay so I will call you guys at 4 pm from the time in Santa Catarina, which it will be 11 am Christmas Day okay Fambam! I LOVE YOU GUYS, SEE YOU ON THURSDAY (English), JUEVES (Spanish), QUINTA FERIA (Portugues)!

Love you all,
Elder JT Moore

J.E.S.T.O best five things you can do
Our Christmas Tree and Lights
Our District Churrasco
Pretty much every night out our window
Part of our District
The RMs (young men and women) came to our apartment like at 10 last night and did caroling for us! it was super awesome!
Real Madrid Jersey Santa Brought Me
Elder Betts and I working on our Selfie Game
A little Christmas Pose
Inside Criciuma Soccer Stadium
Nice Seating inside the Soccer Stadium

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Conferencia Natal

Okay so Tuesday- we went to Floripa and had our Christmas conference it was Awesome! We had a good devotional and delicious lunch. Sister Silva taught us about the Holy Ghost and the gifts of the Holy Ghost it was awesome. We then played the white elephant gift game, I had a really cool gift (Floripa bridge mounted on like a marble) until the end and then it got stolen at the end. Then we played games the rest of the day. Some of the games we played were chess, checkers, uno, ping pong, board games, and xbox kinect! Played a sports game on the xbox, Elders vs Sisters, Crazy right! It was an awesome day I really enjoyed it for sure!

We also got our Zone T-shirts, we are in the Tubarao (Shark) Zone. It is an a cool looking shirt!

Wed, Thursday and Friday- The normal work, we visited Maria, Antonio and Fatima, Cabral and Marinese, Edmar and Rosalene and we went and did a lot of contacting reference we received from he is the gift.
Antonio and Fatima - he is still in the hospital. So we go to visit him but everythings been put on hold
Cabral and Marinese- A reference from Irma Soraia, we have began teaching them and they seem to have a good amount of potential hopefully they can progress.

Friday night I got a little sick with running nose and sore throat, I have been taking meds and I’m all better now just a little nose congestion. All the meds mom packed are paying off! I LOVE YOU MOM!!!
Saturday it rained the entire day so I had to stay inside to not get more sick. I studied a lot and did some pass off training. The talk by Elder Nelson on the Atonement is amazing you have to read that!. Also 2 Nephi 25 was my favorite chapter I read this week. Jesus Christ truly is everything. He is the gift! He is the Savior everyday we need to strive to become like him.

I passed off the rest of my training with E Cardosa, he said that I am the fast American that he has been in charge of that have passed them off. So I guess things are coming along well.

Sunday we went to a family that is less active, we have been working with them to help them with having the desire to come to church. They have came the last three weeks so that is awesome, and we can see the change in their home. They feed us after church and we shared a lesson and some videos.

It has been raining a lot this week almost every day we get a huge downpour of rain, it makes it tough to get and and proselyte, but if it is not pouring we are out there making contacts and teaching.

Happy Birthday Grandma! Hope you had a great one and everyone has a great christmas! I am extremely grateful to be out here on the mission I have learned so much in this time! It is amazing. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us perfectly and we can strive to be like them daily, that the leaders of the church are truly men called of God and that miracles truly do exist! God is mindful of each and everyone of us. Sometimes we feel far from him but it truly is for us to grow and progress. Families truly can be forever, eternal and I will forever be grateful for that!

Home Teaching is huge I can testify that a ward is more united when it is doing home teaching then when it is not.

Transfers were this week, I’m staying here with Elder Gomes and E Dos Anjos stays here too, E Cardoso is going to Lages and Elder Betts arrives in his place, he was a visa waiter in the US for like 8 months.

I love you guys soooo much, remember to love one another and 5 things we can do to stay strong Fasting, Pray, Going to the Temple, Studying the Scripture, Serving one another.

Love you all,
Elder JT Moore
White Elephant gift that I lost at the end.
Conferencia Natal - Playing Ping Pong
Merry Christmas - From the Homies since Day 1
The Tubarao Zone
The Conferencia Natal Group Picture
Our Tubarao Zone Shirts
The home evening with a family that has started coming back
Thinking about the Tree of Life
Our District
Christmas in Criciuma
My missionary planner
Saying goodbye to Elder Cardosa

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's beginning to look like Christmas

So we are going to start to doing the Families are Eternal this week at family visits, which should be good. I have really realized that members are the essential part to missionary work. Families should be missionaries and just like us be sharing the gospel. When their friends and family are ready to hear the gospel then that is where we can come in and help in the teaching, but the friends are the ones that they trust and have a relationship with.

We talked with Maria and Antonio e Fatima and how they are doing. Progress is slow, and we keep having progress, so we continue with teaching them. Antonio really wants to be baptized, and she will follow him so we are trying to help her grow her testimony, but Antonio went into the hospital and is waiting there while he is getting examined for his heart, and the surgeon that is supposed to do the surgery gets back from a meeting in Boston. So he has been stuck there and we have visited him a couple of times. Hopefully everything can get taken care of with his health. Gloria and Claition - she is less active he is a non member. We have been teaching them and this week was a breakthrough for us. He finally talked about having a desire to get baptized. Before I thought he was just listening because she enjoys having the missionaries over, but this week was good, We asked them to watch a couple things one, “Grateful In Every Situation” a talk that is bomb and “He is the Gift”. We are going to stop by this week to see how it went. Edmar and Rosalene we are trying to help with getting them to church, but patience is truly a virtue. We also found a few new people this week that have some good potential so we will go back and see what happens!

Tomorrow we go to Floripa for Conferencia de Natal (Christmas Conference) should be fun.

Christmas season is here, but they don’t seem to get into the Christmas spirit as much as we do back home. They have some cool decorations, but I just don’t see the excitement in the stores or with the people. Maybe because it is sooo hot that is why it doesn't look or feel like Christmas Season.

One thing that we have really been trying to focus on this week is a message we heard from the Area President Costas, “If we can just forget ourselves a little bit then we can truly start to see how many souls we can truly save”. Also I have been reading in Alma 32:28 to the end, it is great! It talks about the word being like a seed and the importance of us strengthening our testimonies! This week I have learned a lot about testimonies and the need to be CONSTANTLY STRENGTHEN OURS DAILY! I also learned about organization, that God is a God of Order, everything is important to be organized. In order for us to become like him we need to learn how to be organized and make sure everything is where it is supposed to be. If we are organized then our time will be spent productively.

Things that I have learned so far are that people are a lot more welcoming here in Brazil, there is a lot of greenness because it rains all the time. Foods are really good here, one of my favorites right now is a thing called tapioca it is really good and coconut with pineapple ice cream.

I love you guys more then you can imagine and am sooo grateful for your guys examples to me I have a ton to learn still and I am grateful to be here on the mission. I LOVE YOU GUYS SOOOO MUCH, FAMILIES ARE ETERNAL AND HEAVENLY FATHER IS ALWAYS THERE FOR US!
Love you all,
Elder JT Moore
Merry Christmas from the Criciuma I District
Christmas Decorations
More Christmas Decorations
Our very cheesy pasta delight

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Doing WORK!!!!

This week was one of the most successful weeks I have had on the mission. It was the most lessons I have ever done in a week and a lot of them we very in depth, and we were able to answer their questions about their doubts and not so much on trying to run through a lesson! It was good. It also didn't rain at all this week, we was pretty amazing!!! It’s pretty funny how things work too, like the days that everything is booked and jammed, we think it is going to be a packed day, then people fall through, the ball just takes a bad bounce and other days when it isn't so packed we have a great day. But that’s the missionary life I guess. I got another haircut from Sis Bete, she is awesome, she gives all the missionaries haircuts for free.

We are teaching Antonio and Fatima, they know its true, just got to get them to go to church and strengthen their testimonies. We took him to the doctors and helped them out, pray for them that they will have good results from the doctors, and that they will feel healthy enough to come to church.

We had a planning meeting with the members; Paulo, Terezinha, Benigle, and Bete. We planned to do a display at the Parado, it’s like the big park, like big one down the middle of Puertollano. That is where everybody goes walking and hangs out in the park. Hopefully we can make some good contacts. We are going to be handing out pamphlets and BOMs (Book of Mormons). The members are excited to help us out with this activity. I am excited!!! Should be fun!

One thing I learned this week from Elder Gomes is to be patient. Sometimes I try to rush with our investigators, I need to take it more slow and focus on their concerns and their questions, before moving on and trying to teach them the lessons. Sometimes we just need to listen instead of talking!!! As long as the spirit is there, that’s all that matters. We talked a lot about the BOM, the priesthood, why there are so many churches. They were some of the best lessons I have had so far.

Last week in our zone meeting I learned some great tips and ways to work better with the members, what are some ideas that you guys have, please let me know? Also Elder Riddle and I went to McDonald's, I think it’s like the 4th or 5th time I have been! I got a Super Mac, which is 3 patties! I am fat boy!!!!

It is hot here! It’s not like the Phoenix heat, it’s cloudy and the sun shines but it’s not like the Arizona Sun where you feel like you are roasting, its more like being in a Sauna all day! We sweat for days!!

This week study I really liked Alma 32. It was a great chapter for me about the importance of faith, I know a lot of people want to walk through life with seeing everything in order to believe, they need to learn to have faith. Also Fasting is a true gift. The Lord can answer prayers from fasting and the Lord truly knows us personally. Make sure to fortify your personal testimony cada dia todos os dias (each day, all of the days)!

We are going to Florianopolis this week!

Love and miss you all, hope you have a good Thanksgiving!! Have fun at the Turkey Bowl!! Justin score a Touchdown for me!

Love you all,
Elder JT Moore
Left to right Gomes, Dos Anjos, Cardoso
Christmas lights outside Giassi superstore!
Me and Elder Gomes
Today at the church when we were playing Bball and Vball
The District at the Church
Me and Elder Cardoso
Tapioca peanut butter,chocolate, and creme de liete sooo good!

Gratitude and Thanksgiving

Monday - was the first time I played sports since being out in the field, we played a little bball and volleyball, then we had the evening to go out and do contacts. We also received a reference from a member.

Tuesday - We helped Antonio get a ride to the hospital for his exam. He is going to been in the hospital for a week. Then we went to Rensacer (barruio) and taught Maria. She has received an answer to her prayers about the Book of Mormon, she knows that it is true. When she prayed she opened it up to 2 Nephi 31:15, which is super awesome. She wants to get baptized, she is just scared and hesitant to leave her other church. She knows what the covenants are when she is baptized, so that is why she is hesitant. The pastor of the other church really has her scared to leave. We also taught Emar and Rosalene the restoration, it was really good, and then we taught a brief lesson with Antonio and Fatima. We tried to get Emar and Rosalene to take Antonio and Fatima to church, investigators taking investigators to church, they said they wanted to but that they have family coming into town. It was a good Tuesday!

That night we got home packed up some stuff and went to the other Criciuma 2 Elder’s apartment and spent the night there (14 total Elders), we had to get up at 2 am and left at 4 am in a big van with a bunch of Elders head to Florianopolis (we got there at 10 am). Then we had the privilege to listen to the area seventy of Brazil. We listened to Elder Costa of the Quorum of the Seventy, he was amazing! Told us about his conversion story and experiences he has had, and wowww the spirit he brought with him was just awesome. I testify to you that they are truly special witnesses of our Savior Jesus Christ and that the church leaders are men called of GOD without a doubt. I honestly could have sat there the entire day and just listened to him! One thing I liked that Elder Costa taught us was how to work in companionships and how to work with members, and just wow it was awesome! So you all better be working with the missionaries to do the work. Oh, in the apartment and van I was with Elder Riddle and then in Floripa I saw Blanchard (He has gained 9 kilos) and Bergquist so that was some awesome little reunions! We didn't get back home until 10 and Elder Riddle and his comp stayed the night in our apartment before leaving the next day.

Thursday - Happy Thanksgiving!!!!! We all had lunch at our apartment and had a great Thanksgiving! We had a turkey, potatoes, I made deviled eggs like mom taught me (the brazilians really liked them), cake, muffins, ice cream, brownies and some other postres. I missed playing in the turkey bowl, hope you guys beasted it up out there. That evening we went on divisions (splits), I went with Elder Dos Anjos, it was fun, we did contacts, and taught a less active family. Hope you have an enjoyable black friday, they have it here also, but it’s not as crazy.

Friday - Was on splits with Elder Dos Anjos, we did contacts most of the day, and then went to a family home evening that night. We helped the members meet their neighbors, here they actually know their neighbors pretty well, now they just have to invite them.

Saturday - We taught in Rensacer, we taught Maria, Antonio and Fatima, Edmar and Rosalene, and then we went to Gloria and Clataion later that night.

Sunday was a bummer because NO one came to church that we have been teaching, two other non members came, but none that the missionaries are teaching. We did have the primary program during sacrament meeting, so that was awesome! It reminded me so much of home. We had an awesome lunch at Paulo and Isidora. She is such an awesome cook.

I have learned so much about work ethic, and am very grateful for what dad and mom taught me, as well as the work ethic I was taught in football and basketball. There are a few Elders that are out here that have not learned what work ethic is. We talk about setting goals, and all companionships set goals, a lot of them just don’t have a work ethic to reach their goals. I appreciate being taught this lesson throughout my life, because I know for a lot of them it is difficult to learn at this point in their life.

Ask in faith and follow in faith!

Love you all,
Elder JT Moore
Bus ride to Florianopolis
Three generations, my trainer and his trainer
Me, E. Blanchard and Bergquist
Statue of Liberty out front of a store
Elder Riddle and his Comp
Thanksgiving day meal, almost like home!
Them deviled eggs my momma taught me
Thanksgiving meal with the district
One of my favorite foods in Brazil, Tapioca
Special Conference with Elder Costa, Florianopolis Zone, half the mission